New MasterCard Prepaid Products Target Underbanked in Africa, Corporate Travelers (Nov. 12, 2015)
Prepaid’s ability to suit a wide range of uses was on display this week, with two new MasterCard-branded prepaid products announced, targeting two very different audiences.
MasterCard has partnered with Banque Internationale pour l’Afrique au Congo (BIAC) to launch a new prepaid card in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa’s fourth most-populous country. The Heyano MasterCard Prepaid Card is aimed for use by BIAC’s existing customers and the country’s underbanked—an audience comprising an estimated 94 percent of the DRC’s 75 million people, according to the country’s central bank. The Heyano card is MasterCard’s latest move in Africa—a hotbed of prepaid activity for the network, which has set a goal of bringing electronic payments to cash-dependent economies on the continent.
On the corporate side, prepaid provider Centtrip and global payment and risk management specialist AFEX have teamed up to launch a multicurrency prepaid MasterCard targeting U.K.-based corporate travelers. The AFEX CurrencyPass enables companies and SMEs to load 14 different currencies on the card, with exchanges offered at live market rates and no exchange fee via an online portal. Companies also can use the portal to view and manage cardholder spend, and a smartphone app enables cardholders to access their transactions and balances.