MasterCard has added seven new markets in Africa, and now operates in 48 of the continent's 55 markets.

Chad, Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and The Gambia are now covered by MasterCard's network, which totals 58,000 ATM locations and 438,000 point of sale terminals across Africa.

"Our investment in Africa, through sharing industry knowledge and best practice, and by providing training for our customer banks, merchants and retailers, means we are creating more opportunities for all stakeholders in the African payments sector and better integrating the continent's economies with those elsewhere in the world," says Michael Miebach, president of MasterCard Middle East and Africa, in a March 4 press release.

MasterCard is also pursuing emerging economies through a recent risk management partnership with EFL that operates in Africa and other regions, and a long-standing pact with Western Union to provide payments, tax prep and other financial services.

Visa has also pursued Africa and other developing markets over the past couple of years. 

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