Visa launches Everywhere Initiative in Nigeria, sub Sahara Africa

 By Tunde Osho

Visa has announced that its Everywhere Initiative will expand into the sub Sahara Africa (SSA) region, which includes Nigeria.

The initiative is a global innovation program that tasks start-ups to solve commerce challenges of tomorrow and further enhance their own product propositions and provide visionary solutions for Visa’s vast network of partners

Entrants will have the opportunity to compete for a chance to win up to $50,000, access to Visa’s products and services, expert mentorship and support from Visa and exposure to key Visa partners and clients.

The Regional President for CEMEA for Visa, Andrew Torre said: “In a highly dynamic industry, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative allows us to explore a host of ideas that solve business challenges, influence our product roadmaps, support our customers, and shape our culture of innovation.”

With just 17% of people in Africa having access to formal financial services, almost a third of funding raised by African startups in 2017 was in the Fintech sector. Venture funding for African startups jumped by 51% to R to $195 million in 2017.

The Senior Director for Digital Solutions for Visa Sub Sahara Africa, Geraldine Mitchley added: “With over a hundred million dollars invested over the past ten years alone, the region’s Fintech industry is on the brink of a transformative breakthrough, and we believe the time is ripe to bring together its brightest minds and work on the next big idea in payments technology.  With a clear goal of enabling cashless economies and financial inclusion, Visa is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in its payments landscape.”

Beginning 23 March, Visa invites eligible participants in the SSA region to submit their business solutions that apply to one of the following three briefs:

How can your startup leverage Visa Developer APIs to either: Enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally OR provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery?

How can your company use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments?

How can your startup leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system?

Each challenge has been structured keeping in mind the niche dynamics of the local landscape. As the region’s domestic merchants rapidly expand their digital commerce proposition, payment.