Visa launches operations in DR Congo

Visa Inc. the global payments technology company, has outlined its commitment to expanding digital payments in the Democratic Republic of Congo by establishing local business operations and working closely with the government and financial ecosystem to bring the benefits of digital payments to consumers, merchants, and partners.

Visa marked the official opening of its Kinshasa office and a series of partnerships in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a visit by Al Kelly, Visa’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. With only a quarter of the DRC population estimated to be included in the financial ecosystem, Visa brought together stakeholders from the public and private sector to discuss opportunities that exist to further develop the digital payments ecosystem in the country.

Visa’s immediate partnerships in DRC are aimed at expanding consumers’ access to the digital economy by introducing new payment credentials, as well as solutions to help more businesses accept digital payments. Initial partners include the Central Bank of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as financial institutions, fintechs, merchants and mobile operators. Immediate partnerships include introducing Visa payment credentials for more than 150,000 DRC M-PESA customers and accelerating acquiring and financial inclusion with fintech Infoset through Visa’s CyberSource platform.

“The DRC is one of the most dynamic countries in Africa, and we are pleased to establish a local presence. By working closely with public and private sector partners, we have a shared goal to expand access to digital commerce and support the goals of the DRC economy,” said Al Kelly, Chairman and CEO, Visa. “Visa’s purpose is to uplift everyone, everywhere by being the best way to pay and be paid, which we accomplish when we include more consumers and merchants in the financial system. This plays a critical role in enabling lasting prosperity, and we look forward to introducing new programs, initiatives and partnerships that can help further accelerate economic and societal progress.”

Additionally, Visa is introducing two initiatives to drive financial inclusion and job creation within the Democratic Republic of Congo. A new program being launched with Vodacom will drive financial inclusion for women living with disabilities and a three-year partnership with FPM where Visa will grant one million U.S. dollars to a financial education program targeted at cooperatives, mobile money operators and learning institutions.

The DRC Financial Inclusion Roadmap, which lays out the national priorities for the enhancement of financial inclusion in the DRC, highlights efficient payment systems as critical to socio-economic growth of the country’s population and the success of the country’s financial inclusion aspirations.

“We have seen the benefits of fast-tracking digitization of commerce and money movement in many economies, and this is only possible through continued collaboration with government and industry stakeholders. We look forward to partnering to support the fast-growing financial ecosystem in DRC, while leveraging our payments network to enable both local consumers and businesses to thrive”, added Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa.

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