By Juliet Umeh
Technology-driven company, Interswitch Limited and a digital payments company, Visa, have announced a strategic partnership that will further advance the digital payments ecosystem across Africa.
According to the partners, Visa will acquire a significant minority equity stake in Interswitch. The investment makes Interswitch one of the most valuable African FinTech businesses with a valuation of $1 billion. Visa will join globally renowned investors, Helios Investment Partners, TA Associates and IFC, as shareholders in Interswitch, alongside Company management.
Founder and Chief Executive of Interswitch, Mitchell Elegbe, expressed delight over the partnership and said the move will drive the next phase of transformation in the African payments landscape.
Elegbe said: “Sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest-growing payments market in the world, with growth driven by a young and dynamic population, rapidly evolving consumer behaviour, and an increasing desire for payment solutions that can be accepted across the continent and abroad.”
Also, Regional President CEMEA, Andrew Torre, Visa, said: “Africa is a priority region for us, and we continually seek strategic partnerships with local players to further strengthen our leadership position and enhance the payments ecosystem across the continent.
“This partnership aligns with our global strategy to work with and invest in innovative partners and we look forward to working with Interswitch to provide new consumer and merchant experiences and support the rapid growth of digital commerce across Africa,” Torre said.
Helios’s co-founder and Managing Partner, Babatunde Soyoye, added, “A strategic investment by Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, into Interswitch is a substantial endorsement of the Company’s expertise in African payments.
“As an active investor in leading African payments businesses, we see tremendous opportunities to digitise payments across the continent and have worked closely with Interswitch’s management team to build high quality and scalable platform geared to address some of these opportunities. We look forward to more collaboration with the company alongside Visa.”