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Today: Jun 13, 2024

Visa and Mastercard are heavily investing in Africa.

1 min read

TLDR: Visa and Mastercard are increasing their presence in Africa by funding startups, launching accelerator programs, and investing in telecom companies to stay relevant in the growing digital payment market.

In 2023, Visa launched its Africa Fintech Accelerator program, just six months after the Mastercard Foundation announced a fund to invest in early-stage companies through local firms. Last month, Mastercard agreed to buy a 3.8% stake in the mobile money business of Africa’s largest telecom, MTN, for $200 million. Local entrepreneurs and experts believe these moves will help Visa and Mastercard expand their existing businesses and adapt to the digital payment trends in Africa.

Both companies have also partnered with large African telecoms and made direct investments into local unicorns, with Visa directly investing in more than five African fintech startups, and Mastercard investing in Africa’s biggest e-commerce player, Jumia. The Mastercard Foundation has provided grants and non-equity investments to African startups to support the growing digital payment ecosystem in Africa.

The recent initiatives by Visa and Mastercard in Africa aim to support local fintech startups, enhance the payment ecosystem, and provide innovative funding opportunities. By investing in Africa’s payment industry and partnering with telecom companies, Visa and Mastercard are aiming to dominate the digital payment market in Africa and stay relevant amidst the rising popularity of digital wallets and quick codes.

The Visa Africa accelerator program has provided startups with valuable training on the payment ecosystem and exposure to new technologies, while Mastercard Foundation’s impact investment fund aims to support African startups at a time when funding is becoming scarce. By collaborating with startups and investing in telecom companies, Visa and Mastercard are strategically positioning themselves to lead the fintech industry in Africa.