Mastercard and Awash Bank partner to launch enhanced payment options in Ethiopia

February 26, 2024
2 min read
Photo by Pixabay
  • Mastercard and Awash Bank, an Ethiopian commercial bank, have announced a new international prepaid card and Payment Gateway Service during a press conference at Awash Bank's headquarters in Ethiopia. 
  • This development points to an improvement in Ethiopia's card industry, as the cards enable online payments for customers and merchants worldwide while also assisting the bank in diversifying and expanding its service offerings. 
  • It is also consistent with Ethiopia's National Digital Payments Strategy (NDPS) 2021-2024, which focuses on how responsible payment digitisation can improve service delivery efficiency, promote transparency, encourage women's economic participation, foster financial inclusion, and sustain inclusive growth.

With this new development, customers can now make contact or contactless transactions at ATMs and PoS using a plastic card. 

The plastic card allows users to withdraw cash from ATMs, make payments at point-of-sale terminals, and shop online at any merchant accepting Mastercard globally. Meanwhile, the virtual card enables them to buy online from any merchant website worldwide.

Furthermore, customers can easily add funds to the Awash Mastercard at Forex bureaus as needed, making it an excellent choice for international payments and travel expenses.

Similarly, the addition of Mastercard's Payment Gateway Services (MPGS) will diversify and expand Awash Bank's service offerings.


Mastercard's Payment Gateway enables local merchants with mobile apps or websites to integrate and accept international payments online. Customers globally can use their cards to place online orders and reservations and also pay merchants who have integrated MPGS. 

On this development, Yohannes Merga, Senior Chief Marketing Officer of Awash Bank, affirmed that it underscores Awash Bank's dedication to providing convenient and secure financial solutions to its customers.

“Awash Mastercard empowers travellers with the freedom to manage their finances seamlessly while exploring the world,” he added.

Shehryar Ali, Senior Vice President and Country Manager for East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands at Mastercard, describes the partnership as part of the company's commitment to promoting financial inclusion throughout Africa.  

Remember that MasterCard expanded its operations in Africa. In February 2023, the card provider partnered with Boost, a B2B commerce platform powering Africa's convenience economy, to provide digital payment wallets and supply chain financing.

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The payments giant also partnered with Airtel Africa in August 2023 to launch a new cross-border remittance service. 

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