Visa to invest $1B in Africa's digital transformation
Visa has pledged to invest $1 billion in Africa over the next five years to scale its operations, deploy new innovative technologies and deepen collaboration with African partners.
The financial services giant made the announcement during the US-Africa Business Forum, alongside the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, this week.
The pledge will further scale Visa's operations in Africa, and deepen collaboration with strategic partners including governments, financial institutions, mobile network operators, fintechs and merchants.
It said expanded investments in Africa will help enable greater access to digital payments as an entry point for expanding formal financial services for individuals and merchants.
"Visa has been investing in Africa for several decades to grow a truly local business, and today our commitment to the continent remains as firm and unwavering as ever," said Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., at the event.
"Every day, Visa supports digital commerce and money movement in every country across the continent, and Africa remains central to Visa's long-term growth plans. We look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners to advance the financial ecosystem, accelerate digitization and to build resilient, innovative, and inclusive economies that will create shared opportunity and further spur Africa's digital economy," he added.
Today, an estimated 500 million people in Africa are without access to formal financial services, less than 50% of the adult population made or received digital payments in Africa, and more than 40 million merchants do not accept digital payments.
Visa's investment will focus on strengthening the payment ecosystem through new innovations and technologies, supporting digitization of economies, and investing in upskilling, talent development and capacity building, the firm said.
"Africa is experiencing an unprecedented digital acceleration, with a growing number of consumers, merchants and businesses realizing the benefits of secure and convenient digital payments to fuel commerce and money movement," said Aida Diarra, senior VP for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa.
Visa has recently made significant strategic investments to advance its Africa expansion, including establishing local operations for the first time in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and Sudan.
Visa has ten offices across Africa from which it supports payments in 54 countries.
- Safaricom, Visa launch M-Pesa global pay virtual card
- Mastercard eyes African fintech potential
- SA's Ukheshe secures funding, eyes international expansion
*Top image is of Visa's Innovation Studio in Nairobi, Kenya. (Source: Visa)
— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa