The Ivorian government, represented by the minister of finance and economy, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Wednesday with Visa, the global leader in payments, to digitise government services and ensure financial services are accessible to more Ivorians.
Ivorian Minister of Finance and Economy Adama Koné and Andrew Torre, Visa’s regional president for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA), signed the MOU at a ceremony held in Abidjan, in conjunction with the US Department of Commerce President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) fact-finding mission.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Torre said, “this MoU signing represents an important milestone in our ongoing cooperation with the Ivorian government. It is a major step forward in our effort to bring more Ivorians into the formal financial system with all the associated benefits. Our shared vision for enhancing the quality of services and employing the latest payment technologies makes this partnership a great opportunity for Ivorians, the financial services industry, merchants, and the government alike. The use of electronic payments will bring greater payment security and convenience to Ivorian families, while lowering costs and bringing increased transparency to the financial system.”
Visa is the first global payments provider to open an office in the region. The company has been working closely with local governments, financial institutions, and merchants across UEMOA, CEMAC, and the entire West and Central Africa area to bring the benefits of innovative electronic payments to the region, including its security, mobile, and consulting capabilities.
Meanwhile, Koné said, “we consider this MOU a breakthrough in our greater plans for the development of Cote D’Ivoire by 2020. It reflects the government’s resolve to address the challenges and improve the lives of Ivorians by collaborating with companies like Visa. It is a testament that we are seeking international standards when it comes to the services offered to our citizens.”
The Ivorian government will work with Visa to review current financial services programmes in the country and create informed action plans to aid adoption of electronic payments. With this agreement, Visa is making six commitments.
They aim to roll out Visa Mobile push payments for the more than 1.1 million cocoa, coffee, and cashew nut farmers, whose work amounts to 20% of Cote D’Ivoire’s GDP. For the first time these farmers will be able to make and accept digital payments on their mobile device and transfer funds directly from bank account to bank account.