Visa opens ecommerce Innovation Studio in Nairobi to assist partners across Sub-Saharan Africa

Visa has unveiled an Innovation Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, with the digital payments specialists looking to assist partners and startups across the Sub-Saharan Africa region when it comes to ecommerce.

It is also the first Innovation Centre that Visa has launched on the African continent.

The company adds that the facility will serve the sub-Saharan Africa region and joins a network of Innovation Centres operated by Visa since 2016, which can be found in cities like Dubai, Singapore and San Francisco.

The new facility is also said to support fintech partners to co-create market-relevant payment and commerce solutions throughout the region. Added to this, the facility is designed to replicate the Visa’s flagship Innovation Centre, One Market in San Francisco.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is a fast-growing region with a tech-savvy population. As we continue to grow digital payments adoption in the region, our aspiration is to deepen our collaboration with clients and partners in developing solutions that are designed around the unique needs of Africa,” noted Aida Diarra, SVP and head of Visa in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“As a brand built on technology, Visa has driven the major technology advancements that make electronic payments what they are today. We are confident that the innovation studio will continue that legacy and cement Sub-Saharan Africa’s position as a leader in creating out of the box solutions to deal with our most pressing challenges as a region,” added Diarra.

While the Innovation Centre has only recently been unveiled, Visa has highlighted some local organisations that have benefitted from the solutions developed within this ecosystem.

To that end Paga (based in Lagos, Nigeria) is singled out, having collaborated with Visa to co-create a platform that offers tools to small businesses, as well as Safaricom on a solution to enable 24 million M-PESA users to transact at Visa merchant locations, and 150 000 M-PESA merchants to accept Visa card payments.


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