Union54 and Mastercard launch ChitChat, a social commerce platform with built-in USD digital wallets in Zambia

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March 19, 2024
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2 min read
ChitChat app
  • Union54 and Mastercard have partnered to launch ChitChat, a social commerce platform that provides users with a chat platform with built-in USD digital wallets in Zambia. 
  • This development will allow ChitChat users to transfer money to one another through digital wallets directly within their chats and equally have access to dollar debit cards by Q2 2024.
  • The introduction of dollar cards in Q2 2024 will allow users to conduct in-person transactions using their ChitChat card, just like any other payment method. Subsequently, ChitChat will also roll out new features, including group wallets.

The platform allows users to transfer money between their wallets and convert USD to Kwacha (the currency of Zambia) in-app.  

Perseus Mlambo, CEO of Union54, stated that the introduction of ChitChat stemmed from the need to provide a “safe, secure, and sovereign” platform for social commerce. 

“We aim to grow ChitChat into a platform that accelerates commerce across Africa, and believe we have created the right chat platform with payments to serve as the foundation for what’s to come,” Mlambo added.

With the integration of communication, financial transactions, and bill payment into one platform, ChitChat has the potential to drive economic growth, encourage entrepreneurship, and promote financial inclusion throughout Africa.

In June 2023, Union54 revealed that Mastercard integration would enable ChitChat to offer its card and payment features in beta for Angola, Tanzania, and Ghana, with plans to roll out to other markets.

Meanwhile, following an attempted $1.2 billion chargeback fraud, Union54 ceased its services, leading African startups that had previously used its card-issuing services to seek alternative solutions.

Mastercard sees this as an effort to promote financial inclusion in African markets even more. 
Zambia, considered a smaller market for eCommerce with a predicted revenue of US$126.7 million by 2024, is expected to show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 9.8%, leading to an estimated market volume of US$184.4 million by 2028.


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