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Visa pledges to invest $1 billion to expedite Digital Transformation in Africa

Visa to scale operations, deploy new innovative technologies and strengthen collaboration with partners by 2027

by The Business Pinnacle
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During the U.S-Africa Business Forum, Visa pledged to invest $1 billion in Africa by 2027 to advance resilient, innovative, and inclusive economies across the continent. Visa’s expanded investments establish the company’s long-term commitment to Africa’s growth potential and will help facilitate better access to digital payments as an access point for expanding formal financial services for individuals and merchants.

Alongside the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, DC, Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc., Alfred Francis. Kelly, Jr. summarized the pledge during the US-Africa Business Forum. The pledge will further scale Visa’s operations in Africa and strengthen collaboration with strategic partners including financial institutions, governments, mobile network operators, fintech, and merchants.

The investments will also focus on strengthening the payment ecosystem through innovations and technologies, investing in upskilling, and supporting the digitization of economies, capacity building, and talent development.

Visa has been investing in Africa for several decades to expand a truly local business, and its commitment to the continent continues to be as firm and unwavering as ever, said Kelly Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc.,

Kelly said, the company supports digital commerce and money movement in every country across the continent, and Africa continues to be pivotal in Visa’s long-term growth plans.

The company looks forward to continuing to work closely with its partners to advance the financial network, accelerate digitization and build innovative, resilient, and inclusive economies that will build shared opportunity and further encourage Africa’s digital economy, Kelly added.

Under Visa’s corporate commitment to be the most excellent way to pay and be paid, these investments will accelerate additional opportunities to expand financial inclusion. The company is dedicated to empowering small and women-led entrepreneurship in Africa across its operations and community programs. Today, a projected 500 million people in Africa are without access to formal financial services, more than 40 million merchants do not accept digital payments and less than 50% of the adult population made or received digital payments in Africa.

Africa is experiencing an unprecedented digital acceleration, with a growing number of consumers, businesses, and merchants realizing the benefits of secure and convenient digital payments to fuel commerce and money movement, said Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President, and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa.

Over the previous year, the company has continued growing its investment in Africa, through new offices, innovations, and solutions and programs that are directly promoting financial inclusion. The investment pledge defines the company’s long-term commitment to Africa and the work it does to help advance the financial ecosystem; Diarra added.

Expanding financial inclusion is crucial to long-term economic prosperity and are delighted to have worked with public and financial sector partners to ‘launch new initiatives such as She’s Next,’ said Leila Serhan, Senior Vice President, of Visa North Africa Levant and Pakistan.

Visa looks forward to continuing to support programs that advance inclusion and prosperity while introducing innovations designed for consumers and businesses across Africa.

Visa has recently made substantial strategic investments to further its Africa expansion, including:

Determining local operations for the first time in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Ethiopia to help support and strengthen the local financial ecosystem. Visa has 10 offices across Africa supporting payments in 54 countries.

  • Establishing local operations for the first time in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Sudan to help support and strengthen the local financial ecosystem. Visa has 10 offices across Africa supporting payments in 54 countries.
  • Opening the first dedicated Visa Sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Studio, in Nairobi, Kenya, to offer an advanced environment to bring together clients and partners to co-create future-ready payment and commerce solutions.
  • Pioneering and expanding new technologies that assist African consumers and merchants make and receive digital payments, such as Tap to Phone which can turn a simple mobile phone into a payment device, including lowering remittance costs across innovative solutions like Visa Direct.
  • Establishing Visa as the fintech partner of choice, working together with innovative financial technology businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as running the Visa Everywhere Initiative program, which unveiled dedicated country programs in Egypt and Ethiopia, with the global program attracting entrants from across Africa.
  • Launching new programs to support women’s empowerment with financial partners, including She’s Next, which provides mentoring, funding, and networking opportunities to female entrepreneurs leading growing SMBs in Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, and South Africa.
  • Work together, with partners, to advance financial literacy in several languages, including the first Arabic description of Practical Money Skills in Egypt.

About Visa Inc.

Visa is a world leader in digital payments, enabling transactions between financial institutions, consumers, merchants, and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. The company’s mission is to connect the world through the most convenient, innovative, reliable, and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. The company believes that economies that include and uplift everyone everywhere and see access as introductory to the future of the money movement.

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