Mastercard today extended\u00a0its\u00a0call for applications from African fintech startups to its\u00a0Start Path programme, the company said in a press release today. Applications for the next six-month virtual programme will be accepted until 1 August 2017. The initiative is open to fintech and tech start-ups from Africa and across the world who are shaping commerce by rethinking banking and payments and who are well established already, having raised a significant seed or Series-A round of investment. Start-ups accepted to the programme benefit from the knowledge of a global network of Mastercard experts, access to Mastercard customers and partners, and the ability to innovate on top of Mastercard solutions. To date, one African startup \u2014 Nigerian firm NetPlus \u2014 has been selected to the programme. The company has since partnered with Mastercard to introduce a game-changing ecommerce solution for developing markets plagued by cash. NetPlus benefited from knowledge-sharing and mentorship sessions in New York, London and Singapore where the company met with other startups and Mastercard customers. Building on the experience, NetPlus then partnered with Mastercard to develop an ecommerce solution that overcomes the challenge of payments still being made in cash at the point of delivery. The new solution allows customers to pre-authorise the payment when placing their order online \u2013 with payment only being released once the customer has confirmed their satisfaction on delivery. This has advantages for both merchants and customers. Mastercard Start Path vice president\u00a0Amy Neale said the NetPlus and Mastercard collaboration is evidence of the world-class talent on the continent. Interested start-ups can visit https:\/\/www.startpath.com\/ for additional information and to submit an application.