Mastercard acquires Oltio for digital payments expansion in Africa


Mastercard has announced it has completed the acquisition of mobile payments technology company Oltio from Standard Bank Group.

The acquisition builds on Mastercard’s longstanding relationship with Oltio, a startup that pioneered and patented several mobile payments and banking solutions, including an authentication technology.

Today, that technology enables consumers to authenticate Masterpass digital wallet purchases in South Africa using their bank PIN and mobile phone.

Over the coming months, Mastercard will leverage Oltio’s technology, people and infrastructure to enhance and scale its existing suite of digital solutions for merchants and issuers in cash-orientated, emerging markets – in turn, enabling them to deliver more seamless payment experiences to the consumer.

“Too many consumers and merchants in the MEA region are stuck in a cash economy that doesn’t work for them,” says Mark Elliott, division president for Mastercard, Southern Africa. “By combining our joint expertise, technologies and reach, we can bridge the divide between the region’s cash economies and the digital future, bringing the benefits of digital payments to more people and businesses.”

Issuers will benefit from added functionality including person-to-person payments, bill payments, and airtime top-ups, which they can integrate into their existing mobile banking applications.

For merchants, Mastercard will enhance and scale its omni-channel acceptance solutions, enabling even the smallest businesses to accept digital payments using efficient and affordable technology, such as Quick Response (QR) codes.