Visa to announce major stake acquisition in Interswitch
Global payments giant, Visa is said to be investing USD200 million for a 20pc stake in Interswitch, a Nigerian-based fintech company, Sky News has reported.
Interswitch which extended its operations to Uganda in 2003, is one of the largest Africa-focused electronic payments and infrastructure companies, with point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms and its own card, Verve debit card, with more than 19 million cards active on its network.
Visa’s investment will facilitate the formation of a strategic partnership to target the fast-growing African digital payment market, notes Sky News. But whether or not Interswitch would ditch its Verve cards in favour of Visa cards, as part of the deal, remains to be seen.
The deal, which could see it become the Africa’s latest technology ‘unicorn’, ahead of a potential London IPO in 2020, is expected to be announced later this week.
Besides running a network of more than 500 ATM locations in Uganda owned by sixteen financial institutions, Interswitch also provides technology integration, advisory services, transaction processing and payment infrastructure to government, banks and corporate organizations.
InterSwitch, through its “Super Switch” provides online, real-time transaction switching that enable businesses and individuals have access to their funds across the banks on the InterSwitch network and across a variety of payment channels such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMS), Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, Mobile Phones, Kiosks, Web and Bank Branches.