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VISA said that this new investment will help towards greater financial inclusion in the underbanked African continent.
In a major announcement on Wednesday, December 14, payments giant Visa revealed that they are planning to invest a massive sum of $1 billion by 2027 in Africa. This comes as the part of company’s initiative to expand its footprint and ride on the digital payments boom in the region.
Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc AI Kelly announced this pledge on Wednesday while speaking at the US-Africa Business Forum. This is a three-day event wherein President Biden has invited heads of state and senior government officials from Africa to discuss several potential ties on issues ranging from climate change to food security.
With this pledge, Visa will deepen collaboration with strategic partners involving financial institutions, governments, mobile network operators, merchants, and fintechs. Additionally, the investments will focus on strengthening the payment ecosystem with new innovations. This includes investing in upskilling, digitization of economies, capacity building, and talent development. Speaking on the development, the Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc said:
“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. 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 digitization and to build resilient, innovative, and inclusive economies that will create shared opportunity and further spur Africa’s digital economy.”
Addressing Africa’s Underbanked Market
In Africa, there’s a massive population of 500 million which still remains underbanked to date. Also, less than 50% of the continent’s adult population have made or received digital payments and more than 40 million merchants in the country don’t accept digital payments, as per VISA.
The payments giant believes that this new initiative and investment over the next five years will result in greater financial inclusion in the region. Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President of Visa Sub-Saharan Africa said:
“Africa is experiencing an unprecedented digital acceleration, with a growing number of consumers, merchants and businesses realizing 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 programs that are directly supporting financial inclusion. The investment pledge outlines our long-term commitment to Africa and the work we will do to help advance the financial ecosystem”.
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