Fintechs in Africa: Is mVISA Just Another Mobile Payment Platform?
Mobile payment solutions have come a long way since the advent of mobile phones in Nigeria, thanks to the then baba Iiyabo administration that opened up Nigeria to foreign investors after years of military rule.
Over the years, there has been tremendous growth in the mobile Fintech space with both Nigeria and foreign coys leading the charge with innovative solutions. As it stands now, the Nigerian market is flooded with various mobile payment platforms. Yet, another one was launched on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island. It is called mVisa.
How is this any different from other solutions?
mVisa is a platform, by Visa inc world’s leader in payment, that is designed for smartphone users to pay for products and services at the point of sale. To make a transaction, mVisa users will scan the QR code available at point of sales, then input the amount to be deducted from their account. The transaction notification is almost instantaneous; it is important to note that feature phone users have the opportunity of using USSD codes.The transaction notification is almost instantaneous; it is important to note that feature phone users have the opportunity of using USSD codes.
What problem does mVisa solve?
Nigeria is the most populous black nation of over 170million people with 97million internet users and a little over 200,000 active credit cards.Research shows that Nigerians mostly use credit cards for only ATM
Research shows that Nigerians mostly use credit cards for ATM withdraws only, this obviously shows a problem and a business opportunity that is begging to be tapped into. The challenge here is “Trust”, Nigerians find it hard to trust online payment enough to become less reliant on cash. To help build this trust it is imperative that customer feel in control of the process (their own fate).
According to Visa, this was an important factor in building the mobile payment process. Using the QR code method of payment would allay the customer’s fears of falling into the wrong hands., because only validated and registered merchants will have a QR code. Also, it is important to note that mVisa transactions are processed via Visa’s global network, VisaNet, which is one of the most secure channels around at the moment.
During the launch, Visa’s President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Andrew Torre said,” Small and medium merchants in particular, no longer have to invest in expensive point of sale(POS which is about $400) infrastructure as mVisa gives them the freedom to accept payments in a convenient, secure and affordable manner that their customers trust.” Also, mVisa eliminates transaction fees similar to that of Visa cards.
How accessible is it?
mVisa is currently in partnership with First Bank, Diamond Bank, and Fidelity bank. These banks are already integrating mVisa with their mobile applications. mVisa is very easy to integrate into mobile apps with the help of the Visa developer platform. Hence, the lengthy development process of implementation, testing etc. is a thing of the past.
Well known retail outlets and organisations such as DSTV, Genesis Cinemas, Konga, Imax Cinemas, and Hard Rock Café have adopted mVisa as one of its payment channels.
Going by huge gap between internet users, credit cards users and electronic payment users, the opportunities in the Nigerian Fintech space are enormous. Electronic coverage of the informal sector, which takes up to 60% of Nigeria’s economy, is below 10%. With the necessary support from government and its relevant agencies, the future is bright for the Nigerian Fintech space.
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