Career Moves

Visa in digital payments push in Africa

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Visa President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Andrew Torre.
Visa President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Andrew Torre.

The largest opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa is moving cash transactions to digital.

This is according to Andrew Torre, Visa’s president for sub-Saharan Africa.

In an interview with ITWeb, Torre said there are a few challenges as 90% of transactions on the continent are still in cash.

“The few challenges include driving consumer awareness and education on digital payments as well as engaging merchants with solutions that meet their needs and enable their ability to accept digital payments,” said Torre.

He added that Visa is continuing to work with governments, financial institutions, fintechs and other stakeholders in the payments ecosystem to achieve this.

Torre believes there are opportunities in the South African market, including contactless payments.

“We are excited about bringing even more solutions into the market not just for consumers but for businesses as well. A good example is the recent launch of Visa’s B2B Connect, which allows for cross-border business-to-business transactions in a seamless manner.”

He said while most South Africans are using banks for their financial services, there was room for growth. “Even though a significant portion of all South Africans have bank accounts and a payment card, there is still significant opportunity to shift from cash to electronic payments.”

Torre was recently reappointed to Visa’s president’s advisory council on doing business in Africa. He was first appointed to the council in September 2016.

“I have had the great privilege to work in Africa for many years and know it to be a diverse, energetic, and dynamic continent,” said Torre.

“We believe that the fintech sector, coupled with African dynamism and entrepreneurship, will play a critical role in bringing sustainable and inclusive economic growth and that companies like Visa can help increase the bonds of economic cooperation between the United States and African nations,” He said.

Torre said Visa’s involvement in African economies can help attract more inward investment and stimulate local African businesses to export their ideas to the rest of the world.

“We want to be a catalyst for African innovation and growth and a partner in helping to bring inclusive economic opportunity for everyone. This is why we are proud to participate in this important advisory council and look forward to continued cooperation with our U.S. and African partners.”

Visa said it had in the previous term led initiatives to promote greater U.S.-Africa economic integration in the technology and financial services sectors.

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