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Fintech Middle East & Africa

Mastercard Launches Fintech Express to Drive and Expand MEA Fintech Through Partnerships

Mastercard has launched Fintech Express in the Middle East and Africa, a program designed to facilitate emerging Fintechs’ launch and expansion in the region. Utilizing the power of partnerships and Mastercard’s expertise, technology, and global network, start-ups in the program will be able to focus on innovation that drives the digital economy.

Fintech Express supports digital payment innovators by making it simple to collaborate with Mastercard and its partner network to launch new Fintech products. These partnerships will be designed to propel companies from concept to market in a matter of days, and are intended for all types of Fintech whether they are emerging or established.

The program is split into three core modules:

Access: Enabling regulated entities to obtain a Mastercard License and access Mastercard’s network through a streamlined onboarding process.

Build: Fintechs as processors/enablers can become an Express Partner by building unique tech alliances and benefitting from all the advantages that Mastercard provides.

Connect: Fintechs/Start-ups looking to add payment solutions to their suite of products can easily connect with qualified Express Partners available on the Mastercard Engage web portal, and go live with Mastercard in a matter of days.

“Start-ups are forming exciting and diverse new collaborations with traditional financial institutions, thereby enhancing competitiveness while also bringing a host of new services and products to market,” said Gaurang Shah, Senior Vice President Digital Payments & Labs, Mastercard Middle East and Africa.

“Mastercard is playing a central role in making these Fintech partnerships a reality as their technology provider of choice. Technological advancement and innovation are steering the digital financial services industry as Fintech players are becoming globally mainstream and an increasing influx of these players are competing with large traditional players. With this announcement, we are taking the next step in further empowering them to fulfil their ambitions of scale and speed.”

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is home to a range of Fintech start-ups, supported by innovative initiatives throughout the region. MENA is home to over 1,200 Fintech players, covering everything from credit to insurance to wealth management offered through a centralized cloud-based platform.

Some of the early companies to have joined forces and created alliances in the Middle East and Africa under the new Express Partner program are Network International, Nedbank and Diamond Trust Bank.

Samer Soliman, Managing Director at Network International – Middle East, said “In the last decade Fintechs have been pushing the boundaries of innovation and transforming our everyday lives. At Network, innovation is core to our ethos, and we believe that fostering a local culture of innovation is key to success. We’re pleased to enter into this strategic collaboration with Mastercard, as part of our long-term commitment to support Fintechs and strengthen the UAE payment infrastructure.”



  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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