MFS Africa to Distribute Visa Payment Credentials across Africa

Visa and pan-African FinTech MFS Africa have partnered up to bring digital payments to more consumers and businesses across Africa to address the growing gap between the mobile money ecosystem in the continent and the rest of the world.

With the partnership, Visa will expand its reach and ability to open e-commerce to the region. Despite mobile money wallets being common, they do not have virtual or physical network credentials, making many international online services unavailable to users.

In a statement, the partnership noted that MFS Africa will distribute Visa payment credentials across several markets in Africa, allowing users on the platform to generate an instant Visa virtual card with a 16-digit number and link it to their mobile money accounts.

“In the past few years, we have been relentlessly focused on creating new digital pathways between mobile money users in Africa. Having reached significant scale, we are now turning our focus to connecting our network to the wider world, to unleash the wealth of opportunity that trade with Africa presents to the global economy,” said Dare Okoudjou, Founder and CEO of MFS Africa, which is the largest digital payments hub – connecting 180 million wallets through one API.

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“We have found in Visa an invaluable partner to support us in the next stage of our expansion. The reach of the Visa network is unparalleled, and we look forward to working with Visa to realise our vision of a world in which no one is limited in what they can achieve when it comes to payments.”

MFS Africa’s mobile money account holders can use the cards for remittances and e-commerce transactions. They will also gain access to Visa’s real-time push payments solution Visa Direct, a fast and secure way to send and receive money and remittances directly from/into their mobile money wallets.

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The partnership also noted that according to the World Bank, remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa are set to increase by over 5.6 per cent between 2019 and 2020, reaching $51 billion. However, the region is still the most expensive in the world to send money to, with an average cost of 9.3 per cent.

Jack Forestell, Executive Vice President, Chief Product Officer at Visa, said: “MFS Africa will help us enable digital payment use cases at scale through their aggregation model.”

“Africa is adopting a mobile-led, digital payments ecosystem and with Visa looking to accelerate the distribution of payment credentials and expand the acceptance space for digital payments, this partnership is an important one.”

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