An African payment card solution for East Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Nigeria’s Interswitch is considering introducing a payment card for the East African community that will rival giants such as Visa, Mpesa and MasterCard.

Interswitch, an integrated digital payments and commerce company, facilitates electronic circulation of money as well as the exchange of value between individuals and organisations.

Mitchell Elegebe, the Group Managing Director at Interswitch Africa told CNBC Africa that, East Africa was a very interesting market for the company and said a local card designed to meet the domestic market was a viable option.  

“East Africa has adopted payments system in a very interesting manner and we think there is a lot we can both learn and contribute in the market. So e-commerce for us in East Africa is a natural next step,” Elegebe said.

The company averaged 240 per cent growth annually for the past five years will have to face giants in the market; the group’s managing director is adamant and says there is enough space to make a contribution.

“There is a clear business case for a domestic card brand not only in East Africa but for most countries in the region.”

He also added that more than 80 per cent of African citizens do not travel outside their geographical boundaries adding there was a business case for a card that is designed to meet the needs of locals.

“We do not think it makes sense to charge banks in foreign currency on transactions done locally, hence a domestic card being a viable option,” Elegebe added.