Mastercard partners with fintech SAVA to empower Africa’s small businesses through financial management technology

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The partnership leverages SAVA’s Payment Transaction System to provide companies in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt with innovative expense management tools

Johannesburg, South Africa; 6 March 2024: Mastercard and Johannesburg-based fintech company SAVA have announced a partnership that will support small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) through innovative payments technology and infrastructure.

Through the partnership, the two entities will provide small businesses in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt with an online platform, powered by SAVA’s Payment Transaction System (PTS), that includes digital bank accounts and accounting integration tools, helping them manage their company expenses more efficiently.

SMEs are responsible for 60% of all jobs in Africa and as much as half of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in some countries. Yet they operate in a cash-based economy, and face a US$330 billion financing gap, according to the World Bank. The collaboration supports and reiterates Mastercard’s financial inclusion pledge to bring 50 million SMMEs worldwide into the digital economy by 2025.

By using advanced technology, SAVA simplifies financial management for SMMEs and helps them scale their business operations. As part of the agreement, the fintech player will provide SMMEs with virtual and physical cards where budgets can be pre-configured and managed via the SAVA app. By integrating the offering with their accounting packages, SAVA’s customers will be able to control and manage spend on their employee cards and save time and money by automating reconciliations.

“At Mastercard, we are dedicated to harnessing the power of partnerships and deploying transformative technology to build a sustainable future where everyone can thrive. Our new collaboration with SAVA represents an important step in our efforts to support small businesses that are key drivers of economic growth. By deploying the right, efficient technology we continue to boost financial inclusion in Africa and enable SMMEs to reap the full benefits of the digital economy,” says Dimitrios Dosis, President, EEMEA, Mastercard.

“Our collaboration with Mastercard reflects our credibility, epitomizes the essence of working together to transform pioneering ideas into reality, and underscores our shared commitment to developing innovative solutions tailored to the needs of African markets. We are excited to expand the utilization of this distinctive proposition that empowers SMMEs to manage their financial operations with greater control,” says Kola Olajide, CEO, SAVA.

“SAVA is now operating in Kenya and South Africa. Access Bank is our sponsor bank in South Africa, while Microsoft is a supporting partner in bringing our vision to life. We are grateful to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for believing in our vision and granting us the required approvals to launch in South Africa. We are also grateful to all our investors, notably Breega, Quona Capital and CRE Ventures, for their support on the SAVA journey,” he added.

In addition to addressing pain points around expense filing and management experienced by SMMEs, SAVA can be used to issue physical cards for shoppers and control spending from a central dashboard, eliminating the need for cash transactions. Moreover, SAVA customers will be able to manage spending across different platforms accessing an array of financial services.

Through this innovative collaboration, Mastercard is enabling its partners to take control of their consumer’s digital needs, interactions and experiences creating value in the digital ecosystem and driving financial inclusion.