Thursday, January 17, 2019

Verve, a proudly African digital payment solution leveraging technology for financial inclusion

Verve, a proudly African digital payment solution leveraging technology for financial inclusion
May 16
07:21 2018

Innovation is a prerequisite for corporate survival and the lifeblood of sustainable business growth and development globally. Organizations that innovate successfully are those that drive the future of the sectors or markets in which they play and indeed the overall economy wherein they are located.

Africa’s peculiar set of problems has necessitated that innovation becomes a key ingredient for Companies and Individuals operating within the continent. One of such innovative companies that is making Nigeria emerge as a force to be reckoned with in global payments is Verve International,  the biggest and most successful domestic Card scheme out of Africa.

It would be difficult to discuss landmark milestones in the evolution of payment systems across Africa without mentioning the contributions of Verve especially when it started as the first fully compliant EMV domestic card to be issued in Nigeria. Verve ventured into an uncharted terrain exclusively dominated by the big International Card schemes who had hitherto designed stringent standards for local players. Today, Verve has assisted nations and financial institutions migrate from magnetic stripe cards to EMV compliant cards and have also introduced various Innovative Value-Added Services ranging from contact and contactless card solutions, virtual and card-less solution, bill payments, loyalty and so much more.

With the Introduction of Verve EMV Cards, the high rates of fraud usually associated with card transactions has been significantly curtailed thus boosting consumer confidence, driving the adoption of e-payment and enabling financial inclusion across Africa. Verve has clearly become the preferred payment brand in Nigeria and across Africa because of its innovative payment solutions tailored to suit the need of the domestic markets where it has presence while meeting global standards. Verve is presently the only domestic Card scheme out of Africa that is a member of EMVCo, the global body responsible for setting and regulating payment card standards. Verve International is a pan-African EMV payment scheme, a member of the Interswitch Group which is one of Africa’s leading integrated payment processing, transaction switching & digital commerce companies. As an Africa-focused payment scheme, Verve provides Africa-tailored solutions to a global problem of how to make e-payments, quick, affordable, reliable and above all to any and everyone.

This is why Verve has seen great uptake in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Gambia with a recent expansion to Zambia and Cameroon. Verve is the biggest and fastest growing pan-African payment scheme with over 38 Million payment tokens accepted in 21 African countries and issued across 8 countries.

In 2013 Interswitch Group signed an agreement with Discover Financial Services to allow acceptance of Discover and Diners Club International (DCI) cards at Interswitch-enabled ATM and point-of-sale (PoS) terminals for purchases in Africa, and to enable Verve cardholders to have access to Discover, DCI and PULSE networks for international purchases and cash access in 185 countries including the US, UK, UAE, China, Japan, and India

Verve, a proudly Nigerian brand has contributed immensely to the development of e-payment in Nigeria and across the continent.  Verve, as a Nigerian owned Pan-African payment scheme has been designed and refined to meet the needs of all parties (issuers, acquirers, merchants and consumers) by providing convenient, secure and reliable electronic payment services with the aim of deepening the adoption of electronic payment, financial inclusion and economic prosperity across Africa.

Since inception in 2009, Verve, as Africa’s first and till date, only home-grown EMV payment card brand has contributed to the development of the Nigerian e-Payment industry in diverse ways including;

Local currency allegiance: Verve domestic scheme recognizes only the currency in the country where it operates (settlement, pricing, etc.). Hence, Verve Member banks are immune to currency fluctuations, especially for local transactions because all Verve fees for local transactions are charged in local currency. Thus, Verve has saved Nigerian banks the burden of sourcing foreign currencies for local transactions while helping the country to conserve her FX reserves.

Payment solution tailored to Nigerian needs: As an Africa-Focused, home-grown payment scheme from Nigeria, Verve has deployed her understanding of the local market to offer electronic payment solutions that meet peculiar needs across Africa. Examples of such initiatives includes; Verve card usage as IGR cards and social disbursement cards to raise government revenue and drive financial inclusion in partnership with different State governments in Nigeria, The use of Verve cards for disbursement of subsidy payment to farmers under the Farmers Input Support Programme in Zambia, digitalization of tertiary institutions through issuance of e-payment enabled biometric identity cards and lots more

Affordable and profitable business models: Verve Domestic card scheme operates a cost-effective business model which makes it cheaper to Verve member banks and help them grow into untapped markets to drive financial inclusion and adoption of epayment across Africa. This aligns with the global trend seen in the case of other domestic card schemes such as China Union Pay, Brazilian Elo and Indian RuPay that provide low cost alternative payment solution for their respective domestic markets Key to African Exchange:  Verve has extended the giant strides recorded in Nigeria to other African countries and is now proudly regarded as the “Key to African exchange”. Verve is currently the most successful African payment scheme issued in 8 African countries and accepted in 21 African countries. Verve also has a targeted acceptance expansion strategy to 185 countries globally by 2018. With the volume of traffic between African countries, there is a huge opportunity for inter-country electronic payment integration which is now driven by Verve. This will ease the exchange of transactions and foster greater bilateral relationship between African countries while consolidating Nigeria’s leadership position in the continent. Verve has become a household name for issuers and acquirers across the continent and a pride of Nigeria and Africa.

The trajectory and success story this proudly Nigerian brand across the continent is complimentary to the recent renewed efforts of the Nigerian government to project and showcase the very best from Nigeria in line with the local content initiative of the present administration. Verve has become that world-class vehicle for taking a piece of Nigeria to the world.


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