Visa’s Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) region is in Nigeria to support Visa’s financial literacy and cashless payments drive in the country.
The newly appointed group executive officer for Visa, Mr. Kamran Siddiqi, said the country is a very important market for the company, and that he is delighted to support the progress Visa has made in driving financial inclusion and making electronic payments more accessible to the people.
He affirmed that Visa is dedicated to increasing financial literacy among the unbanked, through strategic partnerships and educational programmes, as it has ensured that in more than 30 countries.
“This was the motivation behind the recent highly successful financial literacy challenge with the Co-Creation Hub. It was geared at stimulating the development of innovative web and mobile applications, to teach money management skills and support the advancement of financial literacy in Nigeria.”
According to him, Visa is a strong supporter of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless Lagos vision 2020 project, which aims at reducing the amount of physical cash circulating in the economy. “We believe this project will help modernise the payment system, which in turn will drive greater economic development,” he said.
Siddiqi noted that another focal area of the company in Nigeria and the West African region is to boost tourism and cross border spend. However, Nigeria enjoyed a 25 per cent increase in spending by international travellers using their Visa cards in 2012 according to Visa’s Tourism Outlook: Nigeria1 report. According to the report, international Visa cardholders increased tourism spending from $95.2 million in 2011 to $119.5 million in 2012, while total transactions rose 31.1 per cent from 553 747 to 727 113.
Also, Mr. Ade Ashaye, country manager, Visa, West Africa, said the card technology company is also driving innovations that will make payments easier, cheaper and more inclusive. “We will soon be hosting a series of workshops with the banks and merchants to discuss the benefits of new payment innovations such as mobile point of sale (mPOS) devices,” he stated.
MPOS devices simply slot on to enabled cell phones allowing vendors to accept payments anywhere from debit and credit cards. “The cost of purchasing an mPOS device will be lower than traditional point of sale devices, which means that Visa’s acceptance will be available to more people,” Ashaye added.
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