Visa Executive Chairman Alfred F. Kelly Jr.
The announcement was made by Visa Executive Chairman Alfred F. Kelly Jr. at the event organized by Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Africa in Marrakech, Morocco.
The Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator will enable up to 40 startups per year to accelerate and grow through a three-month intensive learning program focused on business growth and mentoring.
Following completion of the programme, Visa will further support fintech growth with capital investment in select participating businesses while accelerating their commercial launch through access to Visa technology and capabilities.
The launch of the Africa Fintech Accelerator program follows Visa’s recent pledge to invest $1 billion in Africa’s digital transformation and its long-term commitment to advancing Africa’s economies and driving inclusive growth.
Fintech startups across Africa can become part of the programme through an annual application process, beginning July 2023, that involves two phases.
With more than 1,000 Africa Fintech startups participating in the Visa Everywhere Initiative* (VEI) competition in 2022, finalists from Africa country editions this year will be invited to join the accelerator program, said Visa.
“Africa has one of the most exciting and admired fintech ecosystems in the world, bringing outstanding entrepreneurial talent to a young digital-first population that is growing fast”, Kelly noted
He added: “Visa has been increasing our investments in Africa for decades and strengthening partnerships throughout the continent to support the next wave of innovation and growth. Our new Fintech Accelerator will bring expertise, connections, and investment to Africa’s best fintech startups so they can grow at scale”.
The support for participating fintechs will help further strengthen the payment ecosystem by fast-tracking innovations and technologies that provide solutions to challenges in the continent and further advance Africa’s digitization, according to Visa.
“Africa’s fintech community is at the forefront of payments innovation and allows the unbanked to have access to the digital economy,” said Otto Williams, Head of Partnerships, Products and Solutions, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, at Visa.
Williams added that Visa has been working with this innovative community to create new programmes and solutions to help fintechs while giving access to Visa’s technology and partner ecosystem.
In addition to its $1 billion pledge to Africa, Visa has recently introduced several business initiatives and programmes to advance Africa’s payments ecosystem.