Fintech start-up Zazu has teamed up with Mastercard to issue contactless debit cards linked to its mobile wallet to cut cash usage and promote financial inclusion in Zambia.

Zazu – a mobile wallet – enables users with or without a bank account to receive, send, pay and save money in digital format.

At present, Zazu users are allowed to transact payments at some selected Zazu merchants in the country.

The collaboration with Mastercard will allow Zazu to issue debit cards to its customers, using which they can withdraw money at ATMs.

Additionally, the debit card can be used to pay for shopping at millions of merchants that accept Mastercard, both in Zambia and globally.

Zazu users can place a request for Mastercard virtual card directly through the app to complete e-commerce payments securely without sharing their primary card or account details.

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The users can select a single-use virtual card that expires immediately after first use or a virtual card that is valid for 30 days and can be used multiple times.

Zazu founder and CEO Perseus Mlambo said: “From the get-go, we set out to build a wallet that people would be able to use locally, and globally. Giving our user base a companion card to their wallets means they can use their funds at millions of locations around the world.

“It also provides our customers with the control and confidence they need to manage their money more smartly. We are extremely excited by the opportunities.”

Mastercard Southern Africa division president Mark Elliott stated: “Our programmes are developed to help consumers and businesses meet their daily needs, including the ability to transact more efficiently and safely.

“We are excited to partner with Zazu and lead the transition to digital payment by enabling access to their customers for online and in-person payments across the globe – without the costs and risks associated with cash.”

To obtain the debit card along with the virtual card, users are required to apply using their Zazu app.