In a bid to help bring the benefits of electronic payments to the economy and a broader range of consumers and merchants across Francophone Africa, global payments technology company, Visa Inc., has announced it plans to open an office in Côte d’Ivoire.
This important development will help drive Visa’s strategy in Africa where two billion people live without access to financial services, according to the Global Financial Inclusion Index 2014.
“This is indeed great news, it will help Côte d’Ivoire in its endeavours to promote electronic payments in the country and drive financial inclusion to the benefit of the overall economy,” Minister of Finance, H.E. Koné Adama said in a press release.
By setting up shop in Côte d’Ivoire, Visa will easily partner with the government and the clients to support the electronification of payments plans, engage in financial literacy activities, and provide solutions to increase the mobile-based payments in the region.
The electronification of payments in Africa will contribute to the financial integrity of the financial transactions in the continent and will help increase the transparency of its monetary systems.
“Our presence in Côte d’Ivoire reflects the growing importance of the UEMOA region which represents 40% of the collective GDP of the Economy of West African States. It showcase, both, our commitment and enthusiasm to help the Francophone African markets as they migrate from cash to digital payments to provide consumers across socio-economic groups with secure, convenient, and reliable payment options,” said Tarek Elhousseiny, General Manager of North and Francophone Africa at Visa.
He added, “We plan to proactively work with the governments and partner banks across the region to roll out initiatives that are focused on financial inclusion and help consumers realize the full potential of electronic payments while expanding the technology and global expertise that would support economic growth plans in the region.”
Visa is currently in the process to finalizing the procedures leading to the opening of the Côte d’Ivoire office. This will facilitate the engagement with key stakeholders in the region; government, financial institutions, consumers and merchants in the ECOWAS region.
Visa’s expansion plan signals its continued efforts to drive its undertaking with the World Bank Group to achieve universal financial access and providing electronic payment accounts to 500 million under-served people by end of 2020.
Visa Inc. connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments.