Visa firm has announced a $1bn investment spread across five years in Nigeria and other African countries.

It stated that its pledge which is set to run through 2027 will allow it to scale operations, deploy new innovative technologies and deepen collaboration with partners including governments, financial institutions, mobile network operators, fintechs, and merchants.

Visa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alfred Kelly, Jr. made this commitment during the US-Africa Business Forum on Wednesday.

Visa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alfred Kelly, Jr.

He 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.”

According to the firm, its investment will facilitate additional opportunities to expand financial inclusion on the continent. It stated that about 500 million people in Africa are without access to formal financial services, with less than 50 per cent of the adult population making or receiving digital payments, and more than 40 million merchants not accepting digital payments.

The Senior Vice President, Visa Sub-Saharan Africa, Aida Diarra, added, “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 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.”

The Senior Vice President, Visa North Africa Levant and Pakistan, Leila Serhan, further stated, “Expanding financial inclusion is critical to long-term economic prosperity, and we are proud to have worked with financial and public sector partners to launch new initiatives such as She’s Next.

“We look forward to continuing to support programs that advance inclusion and prosperity while introducing new innovations designed for consumers and businesses across Africa.”

Culled: Punch Ng