MasterCard has announced plans to build their first research laboratory in Africa next year. The new lab will be built in Nairobi at a cost of US$ 11m. The new lab is expected to be operational by early 2015.
The lab will provide open spaces where app developers and techies will develop financial tools that will make money transactions faster and easier. The experts will have the opportunity and facility to develop and deploy new payments systems such as mobile money apps and cashless payments.
US$8m has already been set aside to finance, in the next three years, setting up of tech start-ups, financial and academic institutions. The money will also be spent in government’s development of practical and cost effective financial e-commerce tools. This will be realized in the next three years.
“Kenya represents some of the most successful countries in terms of implementation and reach of digital financial services. Therefore, the building blocks necessary for financial service innovation are present,” MasterCard said in a statement.
The Nairobi-based research and innovation facility will be the eighth MasterCard Lab in the world after those in Silicon Valley, St Louis, Miami, New York, Dublin, Singapore and Sydney.
MasterCard provides sophisticated transaction processing and consulting services and money transfer systems.