Visa seems to be ready to bet big on the African continent.
The global payments giant shared that it will invest $1 billion in Africa, according to a press release. The announcement came from Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. during the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.
“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,” the Visa CEO shared in a statement, according to a press release. “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.”
Currently, more than 500 million people in Africa are underbanked or unbanked. Although Visa has previously worked to play a role in the continent’s digital payments boom, it aims to “facilitate additional opportunities to expand financial inclusion” across the next five years,” the press release details.
“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,” said Aida Diarra, the senior vice president of Visa Sub-Saharan Africa, in a press release. “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.”
Within Visa’s commitment, the company plans to continue scaling its operations in Africa and will work toward more collaborations with strategic partners such as governments, financial institutions, mobile network operators, fintech startups, and merchants.