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Thunes, Visa extend partnership to send payments to over 108 digital wallet providers & bank accounts in Africa & Asia


Thunes, a cross-border payments firm has deepened its strategic collaboration with Visa, aimed at enabling new endpoints in key markets across Asia and Africa.

This new collaboration includes Visa tapping into Thunes’ network to send payments to over 108 digital wallet types and bank accounts throughout countries in Africa and Asia, including Kenya, the Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan.

In addition, Thunes is implementing Visa Direct’s push-to-card capability, to enable payouts made to eligible Visa cards and accounts across 190+ countries and territories. This latest initiative builds on existing collaborations between the two companies. Visa and Thunes first partnered in October 2022 to extend Visa Direct’s reach to 1.5 billion wallets and Thunes announced its Series C extension round in July 2023, with Visa as a key investor.

According to Chris Newkirk, Global Head of Commercial & Money Movement Solutions at Visa, “At Visa, we’re building the infrastructure to enable our partners to move money from any endpoint, to any endpoint, seamlessly. Broadening both our reach and number of endpoints – more than 8.5B today — is crucial to achieving that goal. Together with Thunes, we’re broadening the payment ecosystem by connecting to bank accounts, cards, and wallets, ultimately bringing more streamlined payouts capabilities to our joint clients.”

In October 18, 2022– Visa and Thunes partnered to help individuals and small businesses move money internationally to  78 digital wallet providers, reaching 1.5 billion digital wallets across 44 countries and territories. The partnership was to expand Visa Direct’s reach to nearly 7 billion endpoints, including more than 3 billion cards, over 2 billion accounts and 1.5 billion digital wallets.

The earlier deal with Thunes’ B2B payments platform connected to Visa Direct, adding a cross-border send-to-wallet capability to 78 digital wallet providers that are already integrated with Thunes. Through a simple integration of Visa Direct, financial institutions, governments, neobanks and money transfer operators will be able to utilize the new functionality to enable consumers and small businesses to send funds to markets across Africa, Asia, and Latin America where wallets may be the go-to payment method.

With the addition of 1.5 billion digital wallets to its reach, Visa Direct now helps provide access to nearly 7 billion cards, accounts and digital wallets combined, across more than 190 geographies, supporting 160 currencies, connecting to 16 card-based networks, 66 domestic Automated Clearing House (ACH) schemes, 11 Real-Time Payment (RTP) networks and five payment gateways.

Visa projects a $200 trillion market for global money movement  flows (inclusive of B2B, B2C, P2P and gov disbursements), and is expanding its collaboration with Thunes to enable payouts to digital wallets and bank accounts as a core part of its plan to achieve that growth.

Digital wallets are an easy-to-use, rapid, and secure payment method surging in popularity. More than 60% of the world’s population is expected to use them by 2026. As such, a growing number of banks, including CIBC in Canada, are working with Visa to add cross-border payout capabilities to digital wallets. Increasingly, these financial institutions see mobile wallet interoperability as a vital way to optimize payments to their consumers and business customers.