Payments tech firm Visa has opened its regional headquarters for the Western and Central Africa region in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire targeting local governments, financial institutions and merchants in the region as its new customers as it accelerates its 2015 commitment to the World Bank to include more people in the formal financial system, helping to build globally connected and sustainable economic growth.
According to Ismahill Diaby, Visa’s country manager for the region, “By investing in a physical presence in Cote D’Ivoire, we are working to fulfill Visa’s brand promise to pay and be paid, for everyone, everywhere. We are looking forward to bringing payments experience from wider Africa, and indeed globally, to accelerate the digitization of commerce in Western and Central Africa, enabling more inclusion in the formal financial system.”
Access to a secure payments network is essential for sustained economic growth and Visa will support retail sector growth, encourage travel and tourism.
The new Abidjan office serves 18 Francophone and Portuguese speaking countries in West and Central Africa. It is the 5th regional office opened in Sub Saharan Africa after other regional offices located in the Johannesburg, Nairobi, Rwanda and Lagos.
While Visa’s network, VisaNet, and associated products are already available across the region, this is the first time that Visa has invested in a full time presence and expertize on the ground; and it is the first global payments network to do so. Visa is investing in placing resources in market in order to make its global payments expertize available to the region’s governments, financial institutions and merchants. This is critically important to pave the way for the introduction of new technologies such as mVisa, a QR code-based mobile payment solution designed to accelerate electronic payments in emerging markets.