Airtel Africa has teamed up with Mastercard to give its more than 100 million mobile phone users across 14 African countries access to the global online market place.

The collaboration will enable Airtel Money users, who do not own a bank account, to pay online worldwide using their Airtel Money Mastercard virtual card.

Additionally, Airtel Money users can scan Quick Response (QR) codes using their mobile phones to make in-person payments at various outlets.

Mastercard noted that more than one million businesses across Africa accept Mastercard QR payments.

Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava said: “Airtel and Mastercard have a shared passion for digital transformation and making mobile financial services accessible to everyone across the continent. Through our partnership, we will enable over 100 million Airtel Africa customers to make safe mobile money purchases online and in person.

“The partnership will also significantly bolster Airtel’s position as one of the largest offline-to-online digital payment network in Africa.”

Mastercard Middle East and Africa executive vice president for market development Amnah Ajmal stated: “Across the MEA region our digital partnerships strategy remains focused on enabling digital transformation for our partners so that their consumers can enjoy seamless access to payments and a superior experience.

“We are very excited to partner with Airtel to lead the transition to digital by enabling access to their millions of consumers for online and in-person payments across the globe.”

Due to the availability of low-cost smartphones and high-speed GSM networks, mobile internet connections are likely to grow rapidly in Africa which paves the way to provide online payments for both banked and unbanked users.