Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), a global payment company, today announced its intention to open an office in Côte d'Ivoire to reinforce its position as a leading payments technology company and to help bringing the benefits of electronic payments to the economy and a broader range of consumers and merchants across the region.
Visa is currently in the process to finalizing the procedures leading to the opening of its office in Côte d'Ivoire. This will facilitate the engagement with key stakeholders in the region; government, financial institutions, consumers and merchants in the ECOWAS region.
This important development will help drive the company ‘strategy in Africa where two billion people live without access to financial services, according to the Global Financial Inclusion Index 2014. The expansion signals continued efforts by Visa to drive its undertaking with the World Bank Group to achieve universal financial access and providing electronic payment accounts to 500 million underserved people by end of 2020.
H.E. Koné Adama, Minister of Finance expressed his support to plans shared by Visa and said, “This is indeed great news, it will help Côte d'Ivoire in its endeavors to promote electronic payments in the country and drive financial inclusion to the benefit of the overall economy.”
H.E Jean-Louis Billon, Minister of Commerce, indicated, “This is encouraging news for 2016, Côte d'Ivoire is currently exerting significant efforts in attracting foreign direct investments and facilitate commerce and electronic payment will help in increasing the transparency of the economy to that end. Visa is welcome to the region”.
H.E. Roger Kacou, Minister of Tourism, said, “We are pleased with the plans shared by Visa and it will definitely help in attracting tourists to visit Côte d'Ivoire and we look forward to our partnership with Visa to execute campaigns that would result in the promotion of the country as a destination of choice for tourists.”
Visa has always been driven to extend the reach and value of electronic payments in ways that can empower new forms of commerce. The company will partner with the government and the clients to support the electronification of payments plans, engage in financial literacy activities, and provide solutions to increase the mobile-based payments in the region. Supporting the electronification of payments in Africa will contribute to the financial integrity of the financial transactions in the continent eyeing more foreign investments and will help increase the transparency of its monetary systems aiming at fostering economic development.
“Our presence in Côte d'Ivoire reflects the growing importance of the UEMOA region which represents 40% of the collective GDP of the Economy of West African States. It showcase, both, our commitment and enthusiasm to help the Francophone African markets as they migrate from cash to digital payments to provide consumers across socio-economic groups with secure, convenient, and reliable payment options.” said Tarek Elhousseiny, General Manager of North and Francophone Africa at Visa. “We plan to proactively work with the governments and partner banks across the region to roll out initiatives that are focused on financial inclusion and help consumers realize the full potential of electronic payments while expanding the technology and global expertise that would support economic growth plans in the region.
“The decision to have a permanent presence in Côte d'Ivoire will enable Visa to better serve its partner banks and focus efforts on projects that would help accelerate financial inclusion in Francophone West Africa. We have collaborated with 47 governments to provide more than 5000 products and solutions to help financial inclusion efforts globally. These products and services enable governments to reach more people and enhance the quality of services offered to them.” said Ismahill Diaby, West Africa Manager at Visa.