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Visa partners PalmPay to drive financial inclusion in Africa

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Visa, the global payments technology company, and PalmPay, a new player in Africa’s Fintech industry, have announced a partnership to advance financial inclusion across the continent through access to digital payment services.

As part of the partnership, PalmPay will launch an app with a mobile wallet in Nigeria, Ghana, and Tanzania. The wallet is to offer customers a platform to top up funds electronically or via offline access points. It also comes with the ability to make and accept individual and merchant payments. Visa cardholders will be able to initiate payments within the app and make online and mobile payments by attaching their card details to their PalmPay profile. Non-card carriers can generate a virtual Visa card upon registration.

Also, the PalmPay app will provide access to a variety of financial products offered by third parties. PalmPay is also introducing a loyalty points programme to provide incentive to customers towards the growth of the service.

Vice President Strategic Partnerships, Fintech and Ventures at Visa, Otto Williams, said advancing financial inclusion remains a priority for them and the collaboration will help them reach 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.”

Speaking on the partnership, CEO, PalmPay, Greg Reeve, said: “We are building a digital financial ecosystem that brings together the best services and offers from across each market, which will 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 – that is you can only send money, request for loans once 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 will also 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 currently being tested by a limited number of private beta customers in Nigeria, Ghana, and Tanzania and will be launched to the public in the coming months. An early access version is available on the 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.


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