Visa, world leader in digital payments, has opened its first dedicated innovation site in Sub-Saharan Africa, a new Innovation Studio in Nairobi.
This facility will serve Sub-Saharan Africa and will be part of Visa’s network of innovation centers, which have been operating since 2016 in cities such as Dubai, Singapore, and San Francisco.
The new facility demonstrates Visa’s commitment to fostering innovation and providing opportunities for clients and fintech partners to collaborate on market-relevant payment and commerce solutions across the region.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is a rapidly growing region with a technologically savvy population. As we continue to expand digital payments adoption in the region, our goal is to deepen our collaboration with clients and partners in developing solutions that are tailored to Africa’s specific needs,” Aida Diarra, senior vice president and head of Visa in Sub-Saharan Africa, explained.
“Visa, as a brand built on technology, has been at the forefront of major technological advancements that have made electronic payments what they are today. We are confident that the innovation studio will carry on that legacy and cement Sub-Saharan Africa’s position as a leader in developing unconventional solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges,” Diarra added.
Businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa have been at the forefront of introducing new ways of paying and being paid by leveraging innovative technologies.
At the Innovation Studio, ideas for expanding the growth of emerging payment areas such as Tap to Phone and Pay on Delivery will be explored alongside the ongoing development of cutting-edge smarter payment solutions that leverage blockchain, the Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, and biometrics.
The studio will assist Visa clients and partners from all over the continent in expanding their service offerings.
Visa’s Innovation Centers have helped to conceptualize and implement new business ideas and platforms all over the world.
Several Sub-Saharan African companies have already taken advantage of Visa’s innovation center capabilities, including Paga, which collaborated with Visa to co-create a platform that provides tools to small businesses, and Safaricom, which collaborated with Visa to develop a solution that allows 24 million M-PESA users to transact at Visa merchant locations and 150,000 M-PESA merchants to accept Visa card payments.
Patrick Njoroge, governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, officially opened the studio at an event attended by leading banks, financial technology companies, and innovation specialists from across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Visa is a global leader in digital payments, facilitating payments between consumers, merchants, financial institutions, and government entities in over 200 countries and territories.