DRC- Global payments technology company Visa has announced plans to establish local business operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo as it seeks to expand digital payments in the country.

The firm marked the official opening of its Kinshasa office and a series of partnerships in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a visit by Al Kelly, Visa’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

With only a quarter of the DRC population estimated to be included in the financial ecosystem, Visa brought together stakeholders from the public and private sector to discuss opportunities that exist to further develop the digital payments ecosystem in the country.

Visa’s immediate partnerships in DRC are aimed at expanding consumers’ access to the digital economy by introducing new payment credentials, as well as solutions to help more businesses accept digital payments.

“Visa’s purpose is to uplift everyone, everywhere by being the best way to pay and be paid, which we accomplish when we include more consumers and merchants in the financial system,” said Kelly.

“This plays a critical role in enabling lasting prosperity, and we look forward to introducing new programs, initiatives and partnerships that can help further accelerate economic and societal progress.”

Visa further said it will be introducing initiatives which includes a program being launched by Vodacom that will enhance financial inclusion and job creation for women living with disabilities.

The firm has also entered a three-year partnership with FPM where Visa will grant US$1 million to a financial education program targeted at cooperatives, mobile money operators and learning institutions.

“We look forward to partnering to support the fast-growing financial ecosystem in DRC, while leveraging our payments network to enable both local consumers and businesses to thrive,” said Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa.

The DRC Financial Inclusion Roadmap, which lays out the national priorities for the enhancement of financial inclusion in the DRC, highlights efficient payment systems as critical to socio-economic growth of the country’s population and the success of the country’s financial inclusion aspirations.

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