Interswitch And Visa To Drive Digital Payments Across Africa

Visa Inc., the global leader in payments, and Interswitch, Africa’s leading integrated payments and transaction solutions company, have announced that they will partner to accelerate mobile payments adoption across the region. The partnership will see Visa and Interswitch upgrade the digital banking applications of leading banks to include mVisa, as well as enable more merchants to accept mVisa payments.

mVisa is an innovative mobile payments solution that allows consumers to pay for goods from any type of phone by either scanning a QR code , or entering a merchant number. Payment goes straight from the consumer’s account into the merchant’s account and provides real-time notification to both parties. mVisa is completely interoperable, meaning that the consumer and the merchant do not need to be customers of the same bank. It can also be used to enable consumers who use different mobile phones and services to interact. This brings a versatile and secure mobile money solution, powered by Visa, to consumers everywhere.

Consumers will experience the same look, feel and familiarity of their banking app but now they will have the option of making an mVisa payment in an easy-to-understand way. The solution is expected to be rolled out to Nigerian consumers before the end of 2017.

The partnership will also enable more merchants to accept mVisa, which will benefit the millions of local merchants and SMEs who represent up to 60 percent of Nigeria’s economy. The mVisa solution will allow informal traders to accept electronic payments in a cost-effective way, without the need for investing in point of sale terminals. Merchants are able to receive payments directly into their bank account within minutes of a consumer making a payment. Unlike other mobile payment solutions, mVisa supports well-established processes to handle refunds and chargebacks for consumers.

Interswitch will work very closely with Visa in selected African markets across West and East Africa to develop a Merchant Management Platform to receive Original Credit Transactions (OCT) from Visa as well as app-based merchant enrolment solutions, which enable minimum Static QR code functionality.

“We are excited by the prospects of mVisa for Nigeria as a mobile payment solution which brings real benefits to drive digital transformation”, said Emezino Afiegbe, Country Manager for Visa West Africa.
“Essentially, mVisa allows merchants to accept Visa payments without having to invest in costly point of sale hardware, and thereby gives Nigerian consumers a reliable, secure and convenient mobile payment option.”

Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO for the Switching and Processing Business at Interswitch Group enthused that “this partnership with Visa was a result of a shared passion for promoting digital payments as a way for all merchants to be able to accept payments without expensive infrastructure. There was an alignment of objectives from the start that made this an easy relationship, like having an interoperable platform”