The global payments company Visa(Visa Inc) has opened a new Innovation Studio (SSA) in Nairobi. This is the first dedicated innovation center in Sub-Saharan Africa. This facility will provide services for the sub-Saharan Africa region. It joins a network established by Visa in 2016, which includes centers in San Francisco, Singapore and Dubai. The new facility supports Visa’s commitment to promoting innovation and creating opportunities for clients and fintech partners to co-create market-relevant payment and commerce solutions throughout the region.
The facility is designed to replicate the success of Visa’s flagship innovation center, One Market in San Francisco, and provide Visa’s partners with access to tools that strengthen their capabilities in developing new solutions.
The projected total transaction value in the digital payments market is expected to grow by 13.03% annually (CAGR 2022-2026). This will result in a projected total of US$22.199m.
“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,” said Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President & Head of Visa in Sub-Saharan Africa. “As a brand built on technology, Visa has driven the major technological 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.
Sub-Saharan African businesses have pioneered innovative technologies that allow them to pay and receive their money. Innovation Studio will examine innovative ideas to grow emerging payment areas like Tap to Phone or Pay on Delivery. They also continue to develop cutting-edge payment solutions that use blockchain, virtual reality, and biometrics.
This studio will allow Visa clients and partners to expand their service offerings across continents. Through a human-centered approach, the studio’s immersive environment will also provide clients and partners with tools to overcome some of their biggest business challenges while uncovering new commercial avenues of opportunity Visa Confidential 2 Visa’s Innovation Centers have been instrumental in the conceptualization and implementation of new business ideas and platforms around the globe.
Several Sub-Saharan African companies have already leveraged Visa’s innovation center capabilities, these include Paga who collaborated with Visa to co-create a platform that offers tools to small businesses and Safaricom a solution was found to allow 24 million MPESA users to transact at Visa merchant’s locations and 150,000 MPESA merchants accept Visa card payments. The Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya Dr. Patrick Njoroge opened the studio at an event attended mainly by financial technology companies, innovation specialists, and banks from across Sub-Saharan Africa.