Visa, the world leader in digital payments, is collaborating with the Bantu Blockchain Foundation (Bantu), custodians of the Bantu Blockchain Network infrastructure, to connect its digital asset-linked Visa cards to the Bantu Network Token (XBN), a utility token developed by Bantu to facilitate fast and secure transactions on the Bantu blockchain. This integration is expected to directly boost Africa’s gig economy by significantly reducing current friction and interoperability challenges when making payments within the continent.
This collaboration will be supported by a major Pan-African bank and leading Visa banking identification number (BIN) sponsor and will open up immense opportunities for increased economic activities in Africa, starting with Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and at least six other countries. Transactions for all digital assets issued on the Bantu blockchain using Bantu’s XBN tokens settle in two to four seconds for significantly lower network fees.
Visa will be issuing virtual cards in conjunction with a BIN sponsor bank and enabler for the BantuPay wallet — the ecosystem wallet of the Bantu blockchain — to help ease the digital asset-to-fiat on-off ramping process. This means that every verified BantuPay user will have access to Visa cards powered by XBN tokens.
In addition to virtual card integration with the BantuPay wallet, Bantu aims to airdrop $1-billion worth of its XBN utility token during the next five years to support financial education, startups and career development opportunities leveraging Web3, decentralized applications and other blockchain-based innovations at colleges and universities in Africa and historically black colleges and universities in Latin America and the United States.
Visa has also entered an agreement with Bantu to embark on a Practical Money Skills program to educate at least 100,000 young people per quarter regarding key money skills.
Victor Akoma-Philips, chief operating officer of Bantu, said, “At Bantu, we believe that the right technology tools and collaborations applied to the right problem will create large-scale positive social impact. This collaboration with Visa will help to create a new Web3 social impact framework.”
Carl Manlan, head of social impact at Visa for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said, “Visa believes that greater financial knowledge can empower people to better manage their money and improve their quality of life. We are delighted to partner with Bantu to help young people learn the fundamentals of personal finance, including budgeting, saving and responsible spending.”
Bantu is also joining Visa’s Fast Track Program that makes it quicker and easier for Visa’s fintech partners to build and deliver new commerce experiences on Visa’s payments network. Bantu will be the first Africa-led blockchain infrastructure to enter this strategic partnership.
The Bantu blockchain was built as a result of the need to have a Web3 infrastructure that caters to the peculiar needs of Africa and other emerging economies. Products in the Bantu ecosystem are built with simplicity and smooth user experiences at their design core. The significantly low fees, speed and high transactions-per-second capability of the Bantu blockchain make it a preferred technology for financial inclusion and impact.
Bantu has built a suite of tools to make adoption of its blockchain easy for different categories of users, ranging from the trader in a local market to the sophisticated enterprise building decentralized finance, GameFi and other Web3 innovations. At the heart of the ecosystem is the BantuPay wallet that is used to store and exchange digital assets created on the Bantu blockchain, in addition to identity, Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering management features.
The Bantu Blockchain Foundation has marked the year of 2022 for expansion globally and is working hard to grow its ecosystem of developers and consumers via programs such as educational events, community hangouts and developer hackathons.
Bantu is also committed to working with financial institutions and regulators for greater mainstream adoption.