Ecobank Group’s pioneering work to use digital technology to financially empower millions of people across Africa has been recognised for driving ‘Innovation in Banking’ at the African Banker Awards. Held under the patronage of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the annual event is highly regarded as the most prestigious award ceremony in the continent’s banking and finance sector. Ecobank triumphed against strong competition thanks to its leading-edge efforts to transform banking in Africa and create higher levels of financial inclusion.
This includes being the first bank to introduce a pan-African card enabling customers to withdraw cash and make payments across 36 markets in Africa. While the 2016 launch of the revolutionary Ecobank Mobile App, which is focused on financially empowering 100 million new customers in Africa by 2020 has resulted in more Africans gaining access to financial tools than ever before.
A critical component of this success is the landmark strategic partnership with Mastercard announced in 2016. This groundbreaking initiative has powered the Ecobank Mobile app with Masterpass QR and allows consumers across 33 markets to make fast and secure payments by scanning a Quick Response (QR) code displayed at checkout on their smartphones, or by entering a merchant identifier into their feature phones.”
“Innovation is part of our DNA and Ecobank has long been the vanguard of the drive to eradicate financial exclusion and use technology to financially transform Africa,” said Ade Ayeyemi, Group CEO, Ecobank. “As mobile phone subscription continues to soar being at the forefront of digital banking has made it possible for our customers to do nearly all of their banking without entering a brick-and-mortar branch.”
Patrick Akinwuntan, Group Executive, Consumer Banking at Ecobank, said the award served as recognition that the bank is moving in the right direction. “Millions of Africans already hold the transformative power of technology in their palms with their mobile phones – forward-thinking financial services providers need to adapt to the changing landscape in order to introduce solutions that truly meet the needs of customers and owners of businesses of all sizes.
“The power of digital banking has the potential to unlock enormous lifestyle, business and other financial opportunities across Africa. Ecobank’s digital offerings, particularly Masterpass QR, are opening up financial services to the unbanked, while serving existing customers at a whole new level. This drive to offer convenient, cashless payment services will help to transform our continent and leapfrog economic development.”
Daniel Monehin, Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard commented: “Mobile payment facilitates financial inclusion and the potential for financial integration. We are delighted that our partnership with Ecobank and joint commitment to helping all Africans reach their full potential has been rewarded with such a prestigious accolade.”