MasterCard has committed to provide its simple and secure digital payment solution, Masterpass QR, to more than 150,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in Kenya during 2017.

The mobile driven, person-to-merchant payment solution will be launched through numerous financial institutions and other partners in the market from February onwards.

Through its digital payment initiative, MasterCard aims to foster higher level of inclusion for MSMEs in East Africa. Besides driving operational efficiency, it will also help MSMEs to grow and develop their businesses.

The regional commitment to impact over 150,000 MSMEs in Kenya is part of MasterCard's global goal of connecting 40 million micro and small merchants to its electronic payments network by the end of 2020.

Masterpass QR is claimed to be a fast, convenient and secure payment option for consumers and a trustworthy and instant acceptance offering for merchants.

Consumers can pay for in-store purchases by scanning the QR (Quick Response) code displayed at the checkout on their smartphones, or by entering a merchant identifier into their feature phones.

MasterCard division president for Sub-Saharan Africa and head of financial inclusion for international markets Daniel Monehin said: “Kenyans are entrepreneurial by nature, and there are incredibly exciting business ideas coming from the region.

“We want to help these business owners to grow and prosper by delivering solutions that meet the needs of these business owners.

“Kenya is leading the charge in financial inclusion, with the World Bank reporting that 75% of its citizens over the age of 15 having a bank account. Masterpass QR has the potential to drive that number up further and more rapidly due to the penetration of mobile devices in the market.”