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ChitChat: Zambian startup, Mastercard launch encrypted messaging platform

ChitChat: Zambian startup, Mastercard launch encrypted messaging platform

Zambian fintech startup, Union54 whose operations were suspended following a chargeback fraud scandal last year, is launching ChitChat in collaboration with Mastercard.

Union54 and Mastercard, a leading provider of payments technology, have teamed together to create ChitChat, which will let customers in Africa share messages over an encrypted platform.

ChitChat will also function as a social commerce network, allowing users to pay money to one another, utilise a USD debit card, and make purchases from in-app digital stores.

With Mastercard integration, ChitChat’s card and payment functionality will launch in beta for Angola, Tanzania, and Ghana, with further markets to be added this year.

“We are excited to announce our ChitChat product and at the same time, announce our expanded partnership with Mastercard,” Perseus Mlambo, CEO of Union54, said.

“We believe that mobile payments and chat platforms can be a powerful force for increasing trade across Africa, and we are committed to building a platform that accelerates this. We’ve built payments into a chat platform, giving everyone a USD card on demand – on our terms.” he added.

Union54 and Mastercard have claimed to given out over 2 million cards to Africans through the partnership.

Following an attempted $1.2 billion chargeback fraud, Union54 suspended its operations in July 2022, causing several African businesses that had previously used its card-issuing services to scramble to find substitutes.

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