Beirut, Lebanon – 08 October 2021 – Payments technology company Mastercard has collaborated with fintech enabler areeba as the first partner in the Levant to join its Fintech Express and Engage Programs. The partnership will see the two companies jointly support fintech innovation, boost financial inclusion and enhance the payment experience for areeba clients.

Last year, Mastercard launched Fintech Express in the Middle East and Africa, a program designed to facilitate emerging fintechs’ launch and expansion. By leveraging the power of partnerships and Mastercard’s expertise, technology, and global network, startups can focus on innovation that drives the digital economy. Mastercard Engage connects customers to technology partners to make their payments strategies a reality.

The Mastercard Fintech Express program will equip areeba with the tools to accelerate market entry and expansion across the Middle East and Africa through access to a suite of tailor-made payment solutions such as BIN (Bank Identification Number) sponsorship, allowing fintech players to start their Mastercard issuing business at speed It also gives areeba access to Mastercard’s global network of digital payment innovators.

J.K. Khalil, Country Manager, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & Levant, Mastercard said: “Fintechs are important partners in developing the payment landscape as it continually evolves and adapts to changing consumer needs. Mastercard will continue to ensure that our programs and partnerships continue to be fit-for-purpose, so that they can empower new market players, drive digital transformation, and accelerate diversification of services. We are pleased to have Areeba as our global partner to jointly drive fintech innovation, expand financial inclusion, and continue creating scaling opportunities for the businesses of the future.”

Established in 2017, areeba adopts the latest payment technologies and provides solutions and payment services to banks, governments, and merchants to suit their aspirations and needs. As a BIN sponsor and fintech innovator, areeba will benefit from Mastercard’s unique technology alliances across the region.

Maher Mikati, CEO at Areeba, said: “We are delighted to be joining Mastercard’s fintech innovation programs, which will provide Areeba with the ability to accelerate the development of new digital payment solutions and loyalty programs for fintechs, banks, financial institutions, merchants, governments and individuals, right across the Middle East and African markets.”

Mastercard Accelerate is Mastercard’s overarching fintech platform that gives start-ups and emerging brands support and assistance for every stage of their growth and transformation, from market entry, global expansion, product development, diversification and innovation. Mastercard Accelerate is comprised of four main programs: Fintech Express, Start Path, Engage and Developers.

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