Visa continues its push into Africa

By September 14, 2016Bitcoin Business

Sean MacEntee This story was delivered to BI Intelligence " Payments Briefing " subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here . Visa is signing up partners across Africa for mVisa, its mobile payment solution, according to Bloomberg . The card network has signed up four banks in Kenya, and plans to add partners in Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda later this year. mVisa, which launched in India last August, is primarily an in-store payment method, allowing users to pay for goods or services by scanning a QR code on a smartphone or entering a merchant identifier into their feature phones, though it also includes other features. If Visa can onboard users quickly, it could be a major asset for the firm on the African continent. This could help accelerate the firm’s business in Africa. Africa has never been a major market for Visa — as of June 2016, the firm counted just 321 million payment cards in its Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA) region. For context, that number is under half of Visa’s 826 million US cards. The firm has struggled to onboard merchants in the region, since many sellers don’t have access to electronic payments, which means that there’s nowhere consumers can pay via card. But mVisa, which eliminates the need for traditional infrastructure, simplifies the merchant acquisition process — in India, 30,000 merchants have already signed on — which could help grow the number of Visa merchants and ultimately cardholders in the region. And though mVisa may face hurdles, the product has features that could help convert and onboard users in multiple countries. Mobile money is already popular in a number of African markets. In Kenya, mobile money service M-Pesa, which is run by mobile network operator (MNO) Safaricom, is used by over […]

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