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A novel payment solution for Airtel Money customers

“Mastercard’s enabling infrastructure and proposition will deliver a first- class digital experience for Zambian consumers, driving greater adoption and usage for Airtel Money customers.


Airtel Money has launched the Airtel Money Mastercard virtual payment solution in Zambia.

The product allows all Airtel Money customers in Zambia, even those without a bank account, to make global e-commerce payments safely and securely, underpinned by a growing demand for digital payments.

This forms part of Airtel Africa’s strategic partnership with Mastercard, to give over 100 million Airtel Africa mobile phone users across 14 African countries access to Mastercard’s global network.

Leveraging Mastercard’s global network, consumers—even those who are unbanked—can now access a world of digital products from the device in their pockets; their mobile phones.

Airtel Money Director James Chona guides that all Airtel Money customers are eligible to receive the Mastercard virtual card.

For details on how to link to the Airtel Money wallet or to sign up for a Mastercard virtual card, Chona said, customers will need to follow these steps:

  • Dial *778#
  • Select “My Account/PIN”
  • Select “Airtel Money Mastercard”
  • Select “Create Airtel Money Mastercard”.

The virtual (non-plastic, non-physical) payment solution is linked to Airtel Money wallets and can be used to make a wide range of payments to online merchants that accept Mastercard.

Chona said these include Netflix, Uber, Amazon, Google, Aliexpress and Alibaba, adding that customers can be assured that their financial data is always secure and private.

Users in Zambia can shop at well- known global e-commerce brands, book and pay for travel, or pay for online services such as utility bills or subscriptions through Mastercard on Airtel Money wallets.

The payment solution will also enable small businesses to procure goods and services from suppliers, either in Zambia or from abroad that accept Mastercard for payments.

With its easy-to-use function, customers need to add items to their online shopping cart and complete the required card payment details on the merchant’s website to enable their payment transaction.

The Mastercard payment offering supports Airtel Money’s strategy that focuses on offering customers across the continent a range of products and services to enable more efficient and seamless payments online, boosting financial inclusion.

“At Airtel, we are continually looking at new ways to add value and create an enhanced customer experience for our customers using our products and services. Mastercard is a leading technology company in the global payments industry, and with the Mastercard virtual payment solution added to Airtel Money wallets, customers will find making digital payments easier,” Chona says.

The initiative with Airtel Money customers plays a key role in advancing Mastercard’s worldwide commitment to financial inclusion with its pledge to bring a total of one billion people, 50 million micro and small businesses, and 25 million women entrepreneurs into the digital economy by 2025.

Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice-President for Digital Partnerships, Mastercard Middle East and Africa, says, “Our digital partnerships strategy remains focused on enabling the digital transformation of our partners so that their customers can enjoy seamless access to a global payments eco-system with a superior user experience. Mastercard is uniquely positioned as a single technology provider to enable the digital transformation of our partners like Airtel, while connecting over 3.5m Airtel Zambia consumers, as reported in June 2021, to the global digital economy.”

The solution will meet the demand famong Zambian consumers who want greater access to e-commerce, as mobile Internet connections accelerate due to the low cost of smartphones and high-speed GSM networks being rolled out by mobile network operators like Airtel.


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