MFS Africa and Visa driving improved access to digital payments
Fintech leaders in the African region has announced its latest partners with Visa to bridge the digital payments gap.
The mobile money ecosystem is rapidly growing in the African region MFS Africa and Visa have joined forces to bridge the gap between this ecosystem and the world of online digital payment. Currently in Africa mobile money wallets are widespread within the region, however without a virtual and/or physical network credential associated with them international online services are unavailable to users.
How is Visa and MFS Africa solving this problem?
To solve this, MFS Africa - the region’s largest digital payments hub that connects 180mn mobile wallets through one API - will allow its platform users to generate instant Virtual Visa card. In addition, MFS Africa will integrate Visa’s real-time push payments solution into its platform to provide a fast, convenient and secure way to send and receive money and remittance.
African payment landscape in figures:
By 2020, remittance to Sub-Saharan Africa is set to increase by over 5.6%, reaching US$51bn.
It cost an average of 9.3% to send money to the African region - the most expensive in the world.
“In the past few years, we have been relentlessly focused on creating new digital pathways between mobile money users in Africa. Having reached significant scale, we are now turning our focus to connecting our network to the wider world, to unleash the wealth of opportunity that trade with Africa presents to the global economy,” said Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of MFS Africa. “We have found in Visa an invaluable partner to support us in the next stage of our expansion. The reach of the Visa network is unparalleled, and we look forward to working with Visa to realise our vision of a world in which no one is limited in what they can achieve when it comes to payments.”
For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.