Branch has today announced a new partnership with Visa which will see a virtual Visa prepaid debit cards being offered to over 2 million customers in sub-Saharan Africa.
This partnership comes after Branch International closed a $170 million (Kshs 17.11 billion) Series C funding that was led by Visa and Foundation Capital.
Branch will implement Visa payment services into its platform, which will allow its consumers to make payments using a card or a phone. This is also a move by Visa to leverage on mobile to digitize payments.
It is also a strategy by Visa to collaborate and invest in rapidly growing FinTech companies like Branch, who are able to reach consumers and merchants that don’t use traditional financial services.
Branch will also offer preferential loan terms to Visa merchants who accept Visa on mobile and QR codes in Kenya. This service will be extended to additional locations in Africa (specifically Tanzania and Nigeria). These loans will provide merchants with funds that they can use to grow their business and will be disbursed to Visa virtual credentials attached to the merchant’s phone.
“By focusing on digitizing payments, we aim to build a more digitally inclusive ecoystem,” Visa Vice President of Strategic Partnerships (Fintech and Ventures) Otto Williams said. “We are confident that our collaboration with Branch will deliver on seamless access to finance for the unbanked.”
The virtual Visa prepaid debit card plus the $170 million funding will sure make Branch become an even bigger player in the fintech industry. They were founded just 4 years ago and within that time, they have disbursed over $350 million and with over 13 million loans processed.