Visa to invest $1bn in Africa to boost digital transformation
Visa has pledged to invest $1 billion in Africa by 2027 to help boost the continent’s digital transformation and strengthen its payment ecosystem “through new innovations and technologies”.
The announcement was made by Visa chairman and CEO Alfred Kelly, Jr. at the US-Africa Business Forum, alongside the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC.
Expanding its investment, Visa says, will enable “greater access” to digital payments, which will further help in the development of financial services for individuals and businesses in the region.
Visa says that an estimated 500 million people in Africa have no access to formal financial services, less than half of the adult population have made or received digital payments in Africa, and over 40 million merchants do not accept digital payments.
“Africa is experiencing an unprecedented digital acceleration, with a growing number of consumers, merchants, and businesses realising the benefits of secure and convenient digital payments to fuel commerce and money movement,” says Aida Diarra, senior vice president, Visa Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Over the past year Visa has continued growing our investment in Africa, through new offices, new innovations and solutions, and programmes that are directly supporting financial inclusion.”
Some of the payment giant’s investments in Africa include opening up local offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Sudan; introducing new technologies for digital payments such as Tap to Phone, which turns a mobile phone into a payment device; partnering with fintechs in the region; launching new programmes to support women’s empowerment and advance financial literacy; and opening up a Visa Sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Studio in Nairobi, Kenya.
With the fresh commitment, Visa plans on deepening its partnerships with governments, financial institutions, mobile network operators, fintechs, and merchants in Africa. It also plans to invest in upskilling and talent development.