Payments technology giant Visa is set to invest $1bn in its business across Africa in the next five years to promote the adoption of digital payments in the region.

The move is targeted to provide individuals and merchants with additional access to digital payments.

The move is part of the company’s strategy to strengthen its business in Africa as well as extend its alliance with strategic partners such as governments, financial institutions, mobile network operators along with fintechs and merchants.

As part of the proposed investment, Visa will develop new technologies, facilitate digitisation of economies in addition to invest in upskilling, creating new talents and building capacity.

The investment also intends to support financial inclusion in Africa, where around 500 million people are estimated to be excluded from the formal financial system, stated Visa.  

In Africa, less than 50% of the adult population carry out digital payments, while over 40 million merchants do not receive digital payments.

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Visa chairman and CEO Al Kelly said: “Visa has been investing in Africa for several decades to grow a truly local business, and today our commitment to the continent remains as firm and unwavering as ever.

“Every day, Visa supports digital commerce and money movement in every country across the continent, and Africa remains central to Visa’s long-term growth plans.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners to advance the financial ecosystem, accelerate digitisation and to build resilient, innovative, and inclusive economies that will create shared opportunity and further spur Africa’s digital economy.”

Earlier last month, Visa platform CyberSource forged an alliance with Quisitive Technology Solutions, a Microsoft partner and payment solutions firm, to improve payment processing capabilities.