Visa Incorporated has announced plans to launch a mobile payments solution, mVisa in Nigeria.
The company said that it was in advanced discussions with leading Nigerian banks, and expects to roll the solution out with banking partners to Nigerian consumers before the end of 2016.
mVisa is an innovative mobile payments solution that allows consumers to pay for goods by scanning a QR code on a smart phone or entering a merchant number into their feature phones. Payment goes straight from the consumer’s Visa account into the merchant’s account and provides real-time notification to both parties.
mVisa is completely interoperable, meaning that the consumer and the merchant do not need to be customers of the same bank. It can also be used to enable consumers who use different mobile phones and services to interact. This brings a versatile and secure mobile money solution, powered by Visa, to consumers everywhere.
“We’re excited by the prospects of mVisa for Nigeria as a mobile payment solution which brings real benefits to drive digital transformation,” group country manager for Visa West Africa, Ade Ashaye was quoted to have said in a statement.
On his part, the Head of Retail Banking for Diamond Bank, Robert Giles said: “As a bank committed to bringing unrivalled customer experiences, we’re incredibly excited about mVisa and its potential for our customers in Nigeria.
“The service enables people to engage in secure, digital commerce, and access funds more easily in their bank accounts to make everyday purchases. mVisa increases the opportunity to include more Nigerians into the formal financial system, which will help the economy, and society grow.”
mVisa will be available for both smartphone users and consumers using basic feature phones, with the potential to provide a mobile payment service to nearly all 150 million active mobiles phones in Nigeria.
Consumers can also use mVisa agents for domestic remittances as well as to access their cash if there is no ATM network. These features accelerate financial inclusion, a core objective of both the Nigerian government and Visa. This is also in line with Visa’s 2015 commitment to the World Bank to bring the benefits of Visa and electronic payments to 500 million more people globally by the end of 2020.
Merchants are also expected to benefit from mVisa as recent data suggested that the informal economy, which refers to economic activity that is often cash-based and goes unreported, represents up to 60 per cent of Nigeria’s economy.