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The National Association of Savings and Credit Unions (NASCU) in Zambia, the apex body for the country’s financial cooperatives, has teamed up with Mastercard. Their goal is to offer financial products to underserved members of its cooperatives and improve Zambia financial inclusion.

Under the partnership, NASCU will launch a digital payment platform. The aim is to automate payroll, loans, and disbursements to its cooperative members.

Zambia financial inclusion

At the same time, the organisation will issue 1.5 million Mastercard contactless debit payment cards to its members. The cards will be issued over the coming five-year period.

NASCU managing director William Kanyika said: “We are pleased to partner with Mastercard to deliver world class services and products to our cooperative members, allowing them to reap the benefits of financial inclusion and improve their livelihoods.

“By electronifying our payments system, we can better understand our cooperative members’ behaviours and needs, in turn allowing us to deliver better quality products and services in support of the government’s vision to deliver financial services to every citizen in the country.”

The latest alliance is in line with Zambia’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017 to 2022. The strategy is intended at raising financial inclusion in the country to 80% from 59%.

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Mastercard division president of Southern Africa said: “This collaboration with NASCU represents a major step forward in our strategy to create a cashless society and build an inclusive financial sector that supports the socio-economic development of the country.”