18 July 2014
Mastercard and Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia (GTBank Gambia) today announced a collaboration that will broaden the acceptance of MasterCard payment cards in the Gambia. Consumers can now use their MasterCard prepaid, credit and debit cards at GTBank Gambia ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminalsincluding hotels, restaurants and retailers around the country.
“Tourists and business travelers carrying MasterCard will now be able to withdraw money and make payments in the local currency ‘Dalasi’, for the first time on our 21 GTBank ATMs and 76 merchant outlets strategically located in Banjul and greater Banjul area. We wish to thank MasterCard International for accepting us as partners in our common drive of simply satisfying customers around the world,” says Femi Omotoso, Managing Director, GTBank Gambia.
The Central Bank of Gambia envisions a modernised payments system for the country, which involves the increased adoption of electronic payments. This is in recognition of the high costs associated with cash, such as printing, handling and security.
“We are proud to partner with GTBank, which is quickly growing its presence in Africa. This is the first time that MasterCard payment cards will be accepted at ATMs in The Gambia and is a great milestone for us as we aim to create a cashless society,” says Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President and Area Business Head, MasterCard in West Africa.
The Gambia is becoming a popular destination for international travelers, who are drawn by its beaches, birds, sunshine, and the warmth of The Gambian people. Tourism is the fastest-growing sector of the economy, contributing 12% of the country’s GDP in 2012 and accounted for 20% of the country’s work force.
“Enabling our e-channels for MasterCard indeed opens up opportunities for business, retail and tourism for our country. The hotel and tourism industry will especially benefit from this service” Omotoso says. Electronic payments offer cardholders and merchants several benefits, including being protected from the security risks and costs associated with cash. For merchants, the ability to accept electronic payments means that they will increase their sales as consumers are not limited to the cash they have on hand.
Today, over 85% of retail payments globally are still carried out using cash or cheque, with the percentage being much higher in Africa. However, the combination of a rapidly expanding middle class and steadily improving financial literacy, supported by robust technology, is increasing the appetite for card usage in Africa.
“We are very pleased to have partnered with GTBank to introduce MasterCard acceptance throughout The Gambia. New services introduced by financial industry leaders are critical to increasing uptake and usage of electronic payment cards, ATMs and formal financial products across the population. Our collaboration with GTBank Gambia is another step by MasterCard towards realizing our vision of a world beyond cash,” says Ojomuyide.