Driving digital acceptance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Business Connect & Grow
Sub-Saharan Africa was one of the emerging regions which faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, with small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) finding particular difficulties addressing the sudden need for more digital payments. Merchants faced, and continue to face “the COVID challenge, the conversion challenge and the working capital challenge,” according to Otto Williams, Senior Vice President, Head of Partnerships, Innovation and Digital Solutions at Visa CEMEA.
With SMBs making up around 90% of all businesses in SSA, they needed vital support to turn digital business and digital payments to their advantage, for their consumers as well as themselves. Yet the costs of digitizing can often seem insurmountable for smaller merchants. One Nigeria-based company, Paga, partnered with Visa to create a way for these smaller merchants to raise their digital game quickly, called Business Connect & Grow. “This enables businesses to earn more as they sell more,” Tayo Oviosu, Founder & Group CEO, Paga, said.
The solution involves merchants buying an affordable mobile device configured with secure Visa payment acceptance and Paga’s merchant tools. The app also helps develop their credit history, receive micro loans and ultimately work on their capital to grow their businesses.
And the potential for this to do more than just digitise payments is vast. “If we look into the future, a solution like this will help add value to the merchant businesses beyond just acceptance, it will help them run things like payroll, inventory or supplier management – so many little things, completely digitally,” explains Akshay Chopra, Vice President, Head of Innovation & Product Design at Visa CEMEA.
For more detail on how Visa and Paga have worked together to solve the Sub-Saharan Africa cash challenge, click play on the video above.
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