Visa opens office in Abidjan to develop mobile payments in West Africa

Mar 04, 2016

This is Visa's first office in French-speaking West Africa.

Visa is opening a new office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, which will be the company's first in French-speaking West Africa.

The US provider of electronic payment solutions intends to expand its footprint and develop mobile digital payments in the region.

"Francophone Africa has great potential for growth. Our customers are involved in the growth of digital payments and that is why we decided to get physically closer to these customers," Tarek Elhousseiney, the general manager for the French-speaking Africa region at Visa, told Jeune Afrique.

This is Visa's seventh African office after South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya and Nigeria.

Last month, the company concluded a partnership with United Bank of Africa (UBA) to launch a new banking solution in Africa, called SmartMoney, which includes a prepaid card and a mobile application.

"SmartMoney provides convenience to make purchases, perform online transactions and access to cash from ATMs. SmartMoney app users also have the ability to check card balances; track and budget spend, or send and receive funds between SmartMoney cardholders," said Visa in a statement.

The service has already been launched in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya and will be rolled out to other African markets in 2016.