Zemen Bank and Mastercard have teamed up to launch Mastercard branded prepaid contactless travel card in Ethiopia.

Claimed to be the country’s first prepaid and contactless travel card, customers will be able to travel with US dollar and Euro currencies.

Zemen Bank CEO Dereje Zebene said: “We are delighted to see this product address our customers’ needs for overseas travel, without the need to carry cash. Zemen Bank is known for introducing banking technologies in the country and we are proud to again be the pioneer to issue the contactless prepaid travel cards in partnership with Mastercard.

“We envision that this will pave the way for more e-commerce payments too, as customers are also able to book their flights and hotels using their cards.”

Based on popular customer destinations, the two firms are also planning in future to issue travel cards that accept other currencies, thus helping cardholders in avoiding costs related to currency conversion.

Customers with the new platinum Mastercard prepaid travel card will also have access to all Mastercard points of sale and global ATMs.

Additionally, the card provides platinum insurance benefits such as cover card fraud protection and purchase protection.

Zemen Bank information technology vice-president Amha Tadesse said: “We are also excited to roll out Mastercard’s contactless tap to pay service, which is the first of its kind in Ethiopia. Dubbed “Z-Tap”, now all Zemen POS machines and most ATMs accept contactless Mastercard cards as a result of our significant investment and diligent approach to providing contactless solutions.”

Mastercard said that the cardholders can load up to $10,000 or equivalent to the new card, based on the travel requirement.