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DR Congo: Mastercard and Billetera combine to offer digital payments.

Mastercard partners Billetera to provide millions of unbanked and financially excluded residents in DR Congo, access to formal financial and digital services

In conjunction with Billetera – a Kenya-based digital technology company, Mastercard wants to provide access to formal financial and digital services to the unbanked and financially excluded residents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The partnership is in line with the vision of the DRC Government, under the leadership of President Felix Tshisekedi, which has an ambitious digitization program aligned with the country's National Digital Plan (NDP).

Although the country's mobile use and penetration have great potential to grow given that 40% of the population in DRC had mobile connections by January 2020, according to the Digital 2020.

However, most of DRC's total population is financially excluded, with only 22.5 million of DRC's total population of 90 million being financially included within the nation's financial system.

Thus, access to banking and mobile money has become an important agenda for the government.

The partnership (Mastercard and Billetera) aims to create payments solutions that will drive acceptance of government services such as water and electricity bills, taxes such as wet market permits, housing rents and building permits e-visas, customs payments in the ports. The acceptance solutions were designed for delivery through online portals and PostBank channels.

"...A partnership like this one will further the Democratic Republic of Congo's prospects of growing financial inclusion in the country." Arn Vogels, Area Business Head, Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard.

Billetera has a track record working with both the public and private sectors to offer the latest digital payment solutions within the East and Central Africa region. A major success story is their partnership with SCPT (Société Congolaises des Postes et Télécommunications).

"The launch of our partnership is in spirit with the current government's political goodwill, keen on increasing financial inclusion to a double-digit by 2023. As a FinTech, we shall synergize our software development capabilities with Mastercard's latest technologies towards the digitization of the DRC government payments, a major cause for the cash economy disruption,"  Jervis Omondi Okoth, CEO Billetera RDC.

The partnership will drive the development of an e-citizen system via the launch of a digital wallet that will serve as the ID and principal payments platform for payments to and from the government.

The collaboration is also meant to design a digital ecosystem that will provide the framework for digital payments across all government departments.

DR Congo in focus

GDP: $50.401 billion compared to Egypt's $303.092 billion in 2019

Population: 86,790,567  compared to Egypt's 100,388,073 in 2019

GDP per capita: $580 compared to Egypt's $3, 019 in 2019