After about a week that JUMIA dominated many a headline as Africa’s first ever tech company to file for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, its former partner, MasterCard has made known its intentions to once again collaborate with the African unicorn. In this deal, MasterCard is going to become a shareholder in the Nigerian online marketplace, in an effort to key into the growth e-commerce in the continent. The news comes at a time when MTN Group, Jumia’s largest shareholder, plans to sell its stake to pay its debts.
Looking To Pluck The Ripe Digital Fruit
MasterCard has taken an interest in JUMIA, which is clearly a move to establish itself as a leading payment solutions firm in Africa. With the new development, the company looks to double down in its operations in the continent, bringing its deeps knowledge and expertise in payment technologies to ignite new innovations and spark development in new customer segments.
In addition, the companies will agree to accelerate the adoption of electronic payment platforms between merchants and consumers in Africa, affordable on the backs of Jumia’s tech status and of course, billion-dollar valuation. While uncertainties yet hover around how much shares the American company is buying, the partnership has been looked upon by many as one that is going to be truly strategic.
“Delighted to strengthen our partnership with Mastercard and consolidate Jumia’s position as the leading e-com platform in Africa… we both seek to develop the payments ecosystem and drive financial inclusion across Africa.”https://t.co/rtdgFTTqWU— Jerry Capital (@JerryCap) March 30, 2019
Sacha Poignonnec, the co-Chief Executive Officer, Jumia, said “We are delighted to strengthen our existing partnership with Mastercard and consolidate Jumia’s position as the leading e-commerce platform in Africa. This investment highlights the strategic synergies between the two companies, as we both seek to develop the payments ecosystem and drive financial inclusion across Africa.”
Co-Warriors On Yet Another Battlefield
If not for JUMIA, perhaps the story of the African e-commerce sectors would be gorier than it already is. Africans – especially Nigerians – were both marveled and proud of how the online marketplace has stayed strong, despite making insignificant profits, hitting rough patches and watching all its competitors throw in the towel one by one. And to further set the stage for another bout of enterprise strides, JUMIA is going shoulder to shoulder with MasterCard – who already has a significant African presence – to better the e-commerce sector in the continent.
Online merchants and consumers alike expect that it would be easy, efficient and safe for them to buy and sell online. E-commerce transactions are known to triggers complex automated processes that involve downstream players such as banks and payment processors to name but a few. Also, technological advances in smartphones and electronic wallets, tectonically shifting patterns and the demand for cross-border, multi-currency electronic payments, have all fueled the fire of PSP competition to maintain and increase market share.
Nonetheless, as previously said, this is not the first time MasterCard is partnering Jumia. In 2016, both players concerted efforts to launch the MasterCard Payment Gateway Solution in a variety of markets and the rollout of JumiaPay, the payment service of the Jumia platform that facilitates transactions for consumers and sellers.
The Executive Vice-President, Market Development, Middle East and Africa at Mastercard, Elcin Yanik, said: “Mastercard has been rapidly expanding its presence and partnerships in Africa, bringing new technologies to the continent that help to enhance the consumer experience and enable greater access and inclusion.
This partnership with Jumia underpins MasterCard’s commitment to transforming Africa’s digital payments landscape. In recent years, we have invested heavily in technology, people and local markets, and have seen tremendous growth in online payments in particular. We look forward to working with Jumia to enhance the region’s digital infrastructure and ecosystem.”