Business a.m.

Carbon, Visa eye Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya in 5-year payment partnershi­p

- Zainab Iwayemi

Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya are in sight following a 5-year partnershi­p between Carbon, a fintech company which provides access to basic financial services, and Visa, a digital payments platform, through which Carbon hopes to offer both digital and physical issuance of Visa cards to its customers.

Almost a year after shifting from being a digital lending company to becoming a digital bank offering a range of financial services, Carbon will be launching Visa debit cards in the third quarter of 2021. This will allow Carbon to deploy an instant issuance process in three key markets made up of Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya.

With financial support from Visa spread over five years, this will enhance implementa­tion and marketing support to help drive further growth and adoption of Visa’s payment solutions across Carbon’s products.

On the partnershi­p, Chijioke Dozie, co-founder and chief executive officer of Carbon said, “Carbon is focused on delivering an unparallel­ed banking experience that is both safe and reliable across all touchpoint­s. We want more customers to enjoy some of our popular products, like Carbon Zero, through their Carbon card; and key to achieving this is our partnershi­p with a payment and fintech-friendly company like Visa.”

In addition to the arrival of debit cards, Carbon is building on Visa’s fast-growing user base of over 650,000 customers and a strong 2020 fiscal year which saw the company process N96.54bn in payments and N25.21bn in loan disburseme­nts, which surpassed the previous year’s numbers despite the pandemic.

Kemi Okusanya, vice president, Visa West Africa, noted that the rapid pace of technology innovation has driven a powerful shift in business and consumer expectatio­ns in finance.

“Whether it is changing the way people invest, manage money, receive loans, or send real-time payments to friends and family, Visa is a natural partner for fintech, including Carbon, providing them with new ways to reach their customers through Visa’s vast network and global scale,” Okusanya said.

The company’s ‘buy now pay later’ product added to Visa cards to enhance its payments stack will also enable easier access to Carbon Zero, which allows consumers zero percent financing on items they need the most but cannot afford immediatel­y.

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