East Africa Bank has joined forces with MasterCard to launch the first co-branded MasterCard payment card in Djibouti.

The lender has already rolled out 5,000 MasterCard-branded debit cards to mark the launch.

According to World Bank estimates, Djibouti has a financial exclusion rate of 87.7% with majority of the one million citizens being unbanked or under-banked.

MasterCard believes that the partnership will help introduce a wider range of electronic payment solutions in the country for all citizens, while replacing cash with safer and more convenient electronic payment solutions will develop a more financially inclusive country.

MasterCard regional manager, East Africa, Anthony Karingi said: "Cardholders will have easier access to their funds. They are able to use their payment card at Point of Sale (POS) terminals in Djibouti but also in 210 countries across the world, where MasterCard is accepted, making travelling outside of the country easier, and safer.

"We are committed to East Africa, and look forward to working alongside East Africa Bank to make Djibouti a more inclusive economy, one that is less dependent on cash."