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DIGITAL COMMERCE

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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