Two payment powerhouses, Visa and Mastercard, are pledging to enhance Africa’s financial and digital sectors across the next five years through new and innovative technologies. 

Visa stated that it will invest up to $1bn into African partners, governments, financial institutions, fintechs, mobile networks and more to accelerate the improving digital sectors the continent has been building upon. 

The card network giant also intends to place its focus on the payments sector with an eye on improving talent developments and improving financial inclusion. Visa also shared its plans to build upon small and women-led businesses across differing communities. 

Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President of Visa Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Africa is experiencing an unprecedented digital acceleration, with a growing number of consumers, merchants and businesses realising the benefits of secure and convenient digital payments to fuel commerce and money movement.”  

Conversely, Mastercard announced a collaboration with the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to support businesses and financial institutions within Africa via its Community Pass

The pass challenges infrastructure issues inside rural digitising landscapes, looking to address key burdens such as low connectivity, weak smartphone ownership and low identification softwares. 

The DFC in turn will support investments of up to $50m to Community Pass network countries such as Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda

“DFC and Mastercard’s work in bolstering financial inclusion and improving access to digital tools will help make progress toward our shared goal of bridging the digital divide,” said Scott Nathan, Chief Executive Officer of DFC. 

Tara Nathan, Mastercard Executive Vice President of Humanitarian and Development, added: “The Community Pass platform enables businesses, governments, and NGOs to service rural and frequently offline communities. For example, farmers can access quality seeds, fertilisers, and buyers, as well as payments and credit.”