Visa has built an innovation studio in Nairobi, its first in Africa and sixth internationally.
Developers, Visa clients and other partners will work together to create payment and commerce solutions.
“Sub-Saharan Africa has a young, tech-savvy populace. To meet the region’s particular demands, we want to enhance our relationship with clients and partners,” said Aida Diarra, senior vice president and head of Visa Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Visa, as a technology-driven brand, has shaped today’s electronic payments. Innovate Sub-Saharan Africa will maintain that heritage and consolidate the region’s leadership in developing innovative solutions to our most pressing concerns, added Diarra.
Visa has previously collaborated with Nigerian Fintech Paga to develop new merchant acceptance solutions incorporating QR codes and NFC technologies.
A recent deal with Safaricom in Kenya allowed the telco’s 150,000 mobile money (M-Pesa) businesses to accept card payments.
Across Africa, local and multinational firms, as well as governments, are launching such innovation centres to collaborate on new products and remain globally competitive.
The Kenyan government is creating a technological metropolis called Konza City to spur innovation. Cisco and Philips both have similar labs in Nairobi.
Several innovation clusters have sprung up in Nigeria’s startup capital, Lagos, home to companies including Andela, Flutterwave, and Jumia, among others.