The News: Visa – the world’s leader in digital payments with the mission of connecting the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive has partnered with Kenyan payment provider, Flocash to provide digital solutions for African SMEs through digital payments, supplier solutions and access to financial services.
How will it work: The partnership with both parties will see to the launch of Flostore, a Visa digital wallet and the Flocash pan African payment platform that will provide small and medium businesses in African payment opportunities that would aid fnem accept digital payments, manage their flow of demand and supplies and also, grant them access to financial services across the continent.
In addition to Flostore, Visa and Flocash will work together towards embedding finances in payments; this would bring the element of analytics, bookkeeping and reconciliation for small businesses through Visa’s dynamic underwriting capabilities that includes buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) structures.
The partnership with Flocash is deemed as strategic following its appraisal as one of the fastest-growing fintech companies in Africa in 2022. Furthermore, Flocash enables global and cross-border businesses to accept over 200 payment methods across 60 countries. It has also maintained that the digitisation of SME processes, such as those involved in lending, will streamline unnecessary processes and optimise value.
Speaking on the partnership with Flocash, Corine Mbiaketcha, Vice President and General Manager for East Africa at Visa said, “Visa is committed to expanding the digitization of payments across Africa. With partners like Flocash, our goal is to enable African businesses to access our payments ecosystem and technologies to enable them to innovatively and efficiently serve their customers. This partnership with Flocash, as well as the launch of Flostore, are important steps towards achieving this goal”.
Mbiaketcha added, “Flocash has grown significantly as a travel payments processor over the last few years, and we are thrilled to partner with them to build innovative payments solutions that reduce friction in commerce for merchants in East Africa”.
In response, Sirak Mussie, Managing Director of Flocash stated, “Visa is a great partner to scale Flocash’s pan-African payment platform and develop this critical area of African commerce that can offer enormous continent-wide economic development opportunities”.
SMEs in Africa
According to the Nigeria SME Survey, SMEs in Africa are the backbone of major developed economies, as well as important contributors to employment, economic and export growth. In South Africa, SMEs account for 91% of businesses, 60% of employment and contribute 52% of total GDP. In Nigeria, SMEs contribute 48% of national GDP, account for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment.
Despite these numbers, most SMEs battle with digital payment services to assist their businesses. This often leads to the limitations of reaching a wider market.