PalmPay, Visa partner to drive financial inclusion across Africa
PalmPay, a new player in Africa’s fintech industry, said it has partnered with Visa, global payments technology company, to advance financial inclusion across Africa, through access to real time digital payment services.
In line with this partnership, PalmPay disclosed plans to launch an app with a mobile wallet in Nigeria, Ghana, and Tanzania that offers customers a platform to top up funds electronically or through offline access points.
According to the firm, the app would enable Visa cardholders to initiate payments and make online and mobile payments by attaching their card details to their PalmPay profile, while non-card carriers can generate a virtual Visa card upon registration. It would also provide access to variety of third party financial products.
In a statement made available to The Guardian, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Fintech and Ventures at Visa, Otto Williams, said the goal of advancing financial inclusion was the driving force for the collaboration, noting that the partnership would benefit consumers and merchants not previously addressed by traditional financial services across Africa.
He said: “Around the world, there is a growing recognition that cash is a major impediment to advancing financial inclusion, and Africa remains a cash-centric region. Delivering access to digital payment services on more mobile phones will be a significant step towards the continued expansion of financial inclusion on the continent.”
Chief Executive Officer, PalmPay, Greg Reeve, said the collaboration would build a digital financial ecosystem that brings together best services and offers across markets, which would be made available to anyone with a smartphone, including the unbanked.
“Most existing apps are built to only carter for people who already have formal financial accounts. This means that you can only send money and request for loans only when you have an account to deposit or receive such loans.
“With our mobile wallet, third parties can plug into our platform and encourage people who are just joining the digital world to make and receive payments. PalmPay is also introducing a loyalty point’s programme to incentivise the growth of its service,” he said.
Meanwhile, Reeve noted that PalmPay would expand its partnership to other industry players including Global Technology Partners and Ecobank Group, who are working with the company on payment processing and banking services respectively.
PalmPay is being tested by some customers in Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania and would be launched to the public in the coming months. An early access version is available on Google Play Store and the iOS App store that allows users to accumulate PalmPoints, which can be used for transactions once the full app is available.