In the digital age, more people have access to some form of mobile device over a bank facility and this is nowhere more evident than in Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, it must be noted that Sub-Saharan Africa is technologically agile and mobile-first. When looking into mobile phone usage, Africa is the home of mobile money users with at least half of these users originating from our continent. As a result of the current economic climate, mobile money systems are now including millions of people who were previously excluded from mainstream financial services via digital pay. This of course opens up a whole host of opportunities for both SMEs and Visa with regards to eCommerce and the digital space.
In this new norm, the Covid-19 era has pushed more businesses to join the digital age. This move has the potential to not only grow their current earnings but to also reduce expenditure and increase overall consumer base and consumption. The potential to boost and grow a business’ earnings with the use of mobile payments is overwhelming since they are significantly more cost effective than point of sale transactions. Also, when customers scan QR codes associated with a purchase, merchants can seamlessly accept payments through their mobile phones and directly into their bank accounts, instantly and hassle-free.
Visa published the Covid-19 CEMEA Impact Tracker as a way to highlight the effects of the pandemic and show how the company was leading from the front in curbing the strain felt by SMEs as a result of the pandemic. One of the ways Visa did this was by upskilling SME merchants on the value of digitising. By continuously working to provide the most secure and convenient digital payments solutions, such as frictionless eCommerce solutions and contactless payments, Visa has given consumers the confidence to shop via eCommerce and given merchants a new lease on life and the means to continue to thrive in a competitive and evolving world. Visa presents a plethora of unique opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to harness emerging technologies and tailor them to the needs of both their businesses and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
Although Sub-Saharan Africa predominantly remains cash-based, Covid-19 has proven that the need for safe, reliable, and convenient financial services is of the utmost importance. Today, consumers expect to be put at the forefront and this in turn means services that are seamless, frictionless, on-demand, mobile-enabled and customisable to suit their daily needs. Because of this, a cashless and digital society is gaining notable traction in the financial sphere. Visa’s recent study has shown that in a post Covid-19 world, the driving growth in digital payments could deliver blanket benefits to various sectors including SMEs, which may ultimately stimulate long-term economic growth.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, visa.com/blog and