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Nigeria surpasses 5 million Visa cards milestone

May 25, 2012 1 comment

Visa expands its market presence to accommodate growing payments infrastructure

 Visa, the world’s leading payments network, announced yesterday that its client financial institutions in Nigeria have surpassed 5 million cards in market.

Visa celebrates this achievement as Nigeria’s banking sector moves towards its goal to replace costly inefficient forms of payment with more efficient, secure, convenient and reliable ways to pay and be paid. Year on year transaction volume on Visa cards in Nigeria has grown 70%.

The drive to make Lagos a cashless economy means that the adoption of card technology is growing at a rapid pace. While the number of cardholders is growing steadily, the number of places available to use these cards is also growing to meet increasing demand from the Nigerian consumer.

“Visa is ramping up local in-market presence to support growth in Nigeria and the push towards electronic payments.  We are committed to providing the right in-market support to ensure we are fully catering to the needs of our local partners,” said Ade Ashaye, Country Manager for Visa West Africa.

Visa Country Director, Sub-sharan Africa, Ade Ashaye

Visa Country Director, Sub-sharan Africa, Ade Ashaye at the briefing yesterday

The past year saw a 75% increase in usage of Visa cards at the point-of-sale in Nigeria.  Introducing product features such as chip and PIN in Nigeria is part of Visa’s strategy to provide consumers with more secure ways to make electronic payments. “By employing more people on the ground and investing in local talent, we are playing our part in building capacity within Nigeria. We are also positioned to help merchants to understand the value of card acceptance and keep up with this increase in point-of-sale usage,” added Ashaye.

Innovation is key to Visa’s growth, and through investments in mobile technology, Visa provides the underlying platform for a number of the licensed mobile money operators in Nigeria.  Visa plans to introduce in the latest mobile money features in Nigeria to ensure local mobile money customers can participate in the newest payments ecosystem.

Electronic payments are critical to development of a strong, modern economy. Visa products can promote transparency and accountability, reduce transaction costs and decrease the size of the gray or informal economy, all of which helps to stimulate economic growth and employment.  A growing acceptance infrastructure also gives merchants access to millions of consumers worldwide, guarantees payment for goods and services, and enhances the point-of-sale experience for their customers.

The stability of a banking system grows with each new consumer achieving financial inclusion.  This in turn has a positive and lasting effect on the economy, social reform and government efficiency. “By driving both card acceptance and card issuance through our partner banks, we hope to underpin Nigeria’s efforts to achieve these goals,” concluded Ashaye.

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