Mastercard has put measures in place to enable customers authenticate Masterpass digital Wallet purchases in South Africa.

As part of its initiative, it has acquired Oltio, a startup that pioneered and patented several mobile payments and banking solutions, including an authentication technology from its parent firm Standard Bank Group.

According to them, customers can use their bank PIN and mobile phone to enhance and scale their existing suite of digital solutions for merchants and issuers in cash-orientated markets.

Mark Elliott, division president for Mastercard, Southern Africa said too many consumers and merchants in the MEA region are stuck in a cash economy that doesn’t work for them.

He explained that by combining their joint expertise, technologies and reach, they can bridge the divide between the region’s cash economies and the digital future.

This he said will bring the benefits of digital payments to more people and businesses.

Issuers they say will benefit from the added functionality including person-to-person payments, bill payments, and airtime top-ups, which can be integrated into their existing mobile banking applications.

Andrew Wilmot, executive, Group Card and Emerging Payments for Standard Bank expressed how good their relationship has been with MasterCard.

“We have had a great relationship with Mastercard over the years and believe that Oltio will thrive as part of an issuer-independent payments company with Mastercard’s vast global resources and innovative technology,” he said.