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Visa now in 200 countries with 3.2bn card owners, targets more Nigerians

As competition for e-payment systems rages in emerging economies, Visa Group has given indication of deepening its market share in sub-Saharan Africa.

The company said with operations in 200 countries on 3.2 billion cardholders’, it is upbeat that the figure is still very low considering the enormous opportunities that exist in the world, especially in Africa.

Explaining more in an interview at the recent Pay Expo in Lagos, Visa Senior Director, Financial Inclusion, sub-Saharan Africa, Topyster Muga, said “in Nigeria alone, Visa has a lot more to do to empower the about 200 million people in the country to be able to have access to financial services”.

He assured that Visa was keen in keeping its brand promise, which includes empowering communities and pushing the frontiers in financial inclusion, saying “Beyond keeping to our brand promise, which is reaching everyone everywhere, we want to be able to empower businesses, particularly, small businesses”.

“If I am selling my rice in sacks, I want to be able to sell more sacks and have more shops around. That is what we are deeply interested in, to empower these businesses.

“One key thing, we are doing in that regard is to work with our client, especially the banks, so that they can offer loans to these small businesses.

Continuing, Muga averred that “We believe that by this, SMEs can grow, expand and be able to pay back loans and further grow their businesses. As they progress in that light, their family and the economy grow.”

According to her, apart from driving e-payment platforms, “Visa currently works with the government at the national level on financial inclusion drive, but that there have not been any engagements at the state levels”.

“There is nothing with the states at the moment. But discussion is going on how we get beyond the national level,” Visa Senior Director, Financial Inclusion, sub-Saharan Africa averred.

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