Visa plans to boost its digital commerce activities in Africa

By our News Team | 2023

Multinational financial services giant will invest US$1-billion on the continent over next five years to accelerate digitisation.

The growing potential of digital commerce as a business opportunity for African companies and their marketing teams has again been emphasised by the recent announcement from Visa that it plans to invest up to US$-billion across Africa.

This was confirmed by Visa Chairman and CEO, Alfred F. Kelly Jr., during the 2022 US-Africa Business Forum held in Washington DC in December.

Digital Commerce

Image by Firmbee from Pixabay

“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,” Kelly said.

“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 digitisation and to build resilient, innovative and inclusive economies that will create shared opportunity and further spur Africa’s digital economy.”

The investment will be spread over the next five years and should, among other things, help to reduce the huge number of unbanked consumers on the continent. According to data from the World Bank, there are around 500-million unbanked people in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Once people are banked, it becomes far easier for them to participate in the digital economy.

An unprecedented digital acceleration in Africa

Adds Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President of Visa Sub-Saharan Africa: “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.

“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. [This] investment pledge outlines our long-term commitment to Africa and the work we will do to help advance the financial ecosystem.”

A September 2022 article by McKinsey consulting, entitled ‘The Future of Payments in Africa’, noted that: “On average, only 5 to 7 percent of all payment transactions in Africa [in 2020] were made via electronic or digital channels, compared with 50 percent or more in Turkey, for instance. 

“This means e-payments are a major growth opportunity on the continent, especially as the convenience and scalability of payment methods improve and supporting infrastructure develops.”

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.