Visa is working very closely with its clients in Egypt to provide them with various payment solutions and digital products to serve cardholders and even help them in their efforts to reach new customers and expand the acceptance of payments. General Manager of Visa in North Africa, Ahmed Gaber, said that Visa has a vision for the introduction of digital payment products and solutions offered through financial institutions, via mobile phones, and the Tokenisation service.
In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Gaber congratulated Egyptians on hosting the Cup of African Nations, noting that, as a sponsor, Visa is very excited about being part of it. He promised that the company will work with partners and all stakeholders to make it a memorable experience for football fans, and provide unmatched experiences to clients, cardholders, and partners.
The interview transcript is below, lightly edited for clarity:
What are the most prominent features of Visa’s 2019 strategy to enhance cooperation with financial institutions in Egypt?
Based on Visa’s leadership and vision to develop the digital payment industry in Egypt, Visa has developed a roadmap to enable and promote digital commerce in order to ensure that all our clients have the tools to succeed in the sphere of payments. This vision ensures that our clients achieve digital leadership and furnish payment products and solutions that provide an advanced, secure payment experience for their customers. Our vision includes multiple payment options, through traditional point-of-sale (POS) or e-commerce and mobile payments; highly enhanced experience when making payments; more places where Visa can be accepted, and a more secure way of enacting payments.
The implementation of this vision will benefit clients by providing new and advanced services, as well as increasing their speed in the market and enhancing their competitiveness.
This vision includes the introduction of digital payment products and solutions offered through financial institutions EMV contact and contactless cards, digital payments via mobile phones through the QR-Code, and the Tokenisation service, which adds a new dimension of security to payments via mobile phones and e-commerce, as well as cash withdrawals at POS.
These products, solutions, and others represent a comprehensive vision to enable our clients to keep abreast of the evolving digital developments in the payment industry, and reap the benefits of the proliferation of mobile phones, Internet-connected device,s and the rapid growth of e-commerce.
The culture of digital payments is still limited in Egypt. How will you boost it?
Concurrently, we are working with financial institutions to spread the culture of digital payments and educate the community about its benefits. Our activities in this field have led to our cooperation with the Agricultural Bank of Egypt through the training of 400 of its employees in the same manner as the training that was carried out with the Egyptian Post which included about 600 employees of the National Post Authority.
The training included the financial education and the principles of how the digital payment industry innovations contributes to financial inclusion.
Visa is a sponsor of the Total African Cup of Nations; how do you see the sponsorship especially that it will be one of your main activities in 2019?
First, congratulations to Egypt on hosting this prestigious tournament and we, at Visa, are very excited about being part of it as the exclusive payment partner. We are going to work with our partners and all stakeholders to make it a memorable experience for football fans, and we will provide unmatched experiences to clients, cardholders, and partners.
The sponsorship deal will make Visa the exclusive payment services’ provider at all venues during the African Cup of Nations tournaments in 2019 and 2021, and will be the preferred payment option for tickets bought both in-person and online. In addition, Visa will be the official partner of the player escort programme, giving over 1,100 children the opportunity to lead their football heroes out at the matches.
The African Cup of Nations tournament is the third biggest football tournament in the world, and there is no other pan-African sponsorship property that drives the audience and builds the social reach that it does in this continent. This four-year partnership will give Visa the opportunity to showcase the latest in payment innovation, and make a demonstrable impact on the fan experience and local merchant environment in the coming years to continue our work given the global and local love of this sport.
Our excitement about the tournament matches our excitement about Africa. It is a very important region for us. eCommerce and mCommerce are rapidly growing, as is the development of fintech solutions across the continent. Mobiles are also very important to us at Visa. This is because almost everyone in Africa has a mobile device, which is fast becoming the key way to enable financial products and payments on these devices. We want to tap into the opportunity that mobiles provide to build digital payments which go beyond the tier one cities, and which benefit the smaller and rural communities. For this reason, we are actively pursuing African partnerships that foster the adoption of mobile payments, which benefit both consumers and merchants.
What is your opinion on financial inclusion efforts in Egypt?
In Egypt, the public sector has an important role to play in supporting the growth of digital commerce by providing the necessary infrastructure to allow merchants and consumers the ability to send and receive electronic payments.
How can Visa help financial inclusion efforts?
Our combined role should be to bring in the millions of unbanked people into the financial system and allow them to reap the benefits that this brings. Digitising economies brings various benefits including providing improved economic efficiency and transparency, which in turn bolsters investor confidence and encourages collaboration across the economy, including banks, technology companies, telcos (a telecommunications company), retailers of all sizes, governments and NGOs. Visa can help transfer technical knowledge to the financial services industry, especially in areas like anti-money laundering and cyber security, thus allowing and enabling emerging channels like eCommerce to flourish.