Mastercard has purchased stake in MTN Group’s fintech division, Africa’s largest mobile network operator.

In August 2023, TechCrunch reported Mastercard was looking to invest in MTN Group. Six months after the initial announcement, both parties have moved forward with an agreement during a time when MTN Group is looking to expand its reach in the fintech space, according to ITWeb. The move would be timely for MTN Group as it was searching for investors after parting ways with the carrier’s main telecom business.

The outlet also notes Mastercard is looking to accelerate MTN Group’s technology and infrastructure and establish greater financial inclusion in the continent.

MTN Group had reached over 290 million subscribers by the end of June 2023, and its transaction volume had reached $8.3 billion in the first half of 2023.

“This commercial relationship is a key enabler for the acceleration of our fintech business’ payments and remittance services,” the company said, per ITWeb. “MTN will continue to explore opportunities for other value enhancing partnerships and investments, subject to market conditions, with strategic partners and long-term investors.”

In 2023, TechCrunch mentioned the deal would “be structured as a commercial partnership on payments and remittances employing Mastercard’s technical infrastructure to develop throughout Africa and an investment in a minority share.”

As for Mastercard, the news marks another step forward in their efforts across Africa. They have also partnered with Ghanaian B2B commerce platform Boost to support small business owners through the allocation of digital payment wallets and embedded supply chain finance, according to Disrupt Africa.

“We are thrilled to enter into this scaling partnership with Mastercard in pursuit of Boost’s mission to enable small businesses to thrive in the digital economy, to create sustainable jobs and income,” said Mike Quinn, co-founder and CEO of Boost, according to Disrupt Africa. “Mastercard will help us take our model to the next level to create transformative value for our customers and partners while fueling our global ambitions.”