Today Visa Inc connects over 3 billion buyers to over 54 million seller points, with a simple but lot bigger ambition of being the best payment platform around the world that goes beyond card payments. Visa works with banks, Fintech merchants and other technology partners.
The most important unity that visa does, is connect merchants through technology,helping them get into the digital eco system, where they can be paid more faster and efficiently. In her brief, Susan pointed out why Visa continues to be the most preferred brand in the E-payments solutions;
- Visa provides transparency to their users, giving them full visibility of their payment flows. This has enabled their customers have a record from which they can use to access credit from lenders.
- Safety of data is at the heart of all Visa operations. This has given their customers and partners confidence that their information is well protected and put to right use.
- Visa has endeavoured to come up with value added services on the visa digital eco system like VISA direct where merchants can now move remittances from one country to another. Another innovative digital solution is a new product called Visa on Mobo where a seller downloads and accepts Visa payments on their devise with no extra costs on their mobile phone.
Fintech is one of the most important ingredients to help economies grow around the world. Consumers want more convenience, speed, access and it is changing how buyers choose their sellers. We are seeing new businesses born from digital innovations in Africa and around the world.
For example, safe Boda, Uber’s digital make for motorcycle transport which brings transportation to commuters by giving them a technology platform to drive, get access to services and have certainty for when transport may be available. it’s no difference from what Jumia in Nigeria has done to ecommerce across Africa or Mpesa to payments in Kenya and many more.
Fintech in AFRICA now attracts over 40% of capital being raised across the continents and Visa is changing the way it does business because of the new industry trends. Some of which are, the notion of unbundling where businesses are taking component parts of services that were previously offered as simple stack and offering them as a single customised service.
She continued to share on the expanding eco system, explaining what is happening with digitisation in the banking sector. Open banking has increased several actions where players can come in to compete for business the way they could not compete before. It has completely changed the way the banks ecosystem works, as it’s much more about open data and moving data more seamlessly. This has opened more opportunities for Fintechs to provide digital solutions for various unbundled services. For example, MPESA and MCASH that have picked some elements of banking and put them on a mobile phone.
In the last few years visa has made investments in FINTECH companies like Pace-tag in Nigeria, a payment facilitator. In a small company called Branch that started in Silcom valley is now in Kenya and Uganda doing clever things with smart phone data to provide import micro loans.
Visa is partnering with IFC and MetLife to launch Fintech 50, a programme that gives access to early stage companies looking for help to unlock the ivy tech. ‘’We are extending a platform called the Fintech FastTrack to make it easier for small companies to connect with big companies and access a level playing field’’.
Zente a small Fintech company in Uganda founded by ITC has been privileged to be one of the first beneficiaries of the Visa FastTrack programme.
Susan disclosed Visa’s ambitions to bring women at the forefront of business entrepreneurship where it launched a platform called “She is next’’ at the world economic forum in Cape town. She has always had a pariah for small businesses, sparked by her mother a Ugandan entrepreneur who later grew her small business into a series of very successful beauty businesses.
Data would prove that many women like her mother typically invest over 90% of their earnings back into business and family compared to men at just about 40%. Therefore, Visa believes that investing in women small businesses is one way the company can transform society. World bank statistics on FinTech indicate that over one billion women and 70% of women owned businesses have no access to financial services while 200 million men have access to both technology and financial services. This equates to about $300 billion-dollar gap in capital to enable women participate in economic growth.
“At Visa we intend to use the platform called “SHE IS NEXT” to spot light women entrepreneurs and their efforts in a way that advances their business around the world’’.
However, she accentuated that Visa cannot do it alone. It will need everyone to get on board and stand with the Fintechs present today. She cited a partnership with the government of Ivory coast to change the way the agriculture ecosystem works both for cocoa and cashew nuts their largest cash crops. They are also doing some work with the Uganda government and Bank of Uganda to drive digitization and support through Fintech.
Visa as a company is on track to bring in about 500 million people into the formal financial eco system. It estimated that over 400 million people last year who were previously unbalanced, or underserved were onboarded onto the visa platforms and enabled to use visa products/services.
Visa’s Head of Global Merchant Sales and Acquisitions closed by saying “if you’re working anywhere in the world, in any business entity, private or public and you’re doing it inclusively, then you’re driving change. Because inclusive means, it’s more transparent, more accessible and more equal’’.