Copia Global and Visa have partnered to provide digital financial services to the middle to low-income consumers in Kenya.
The 5-year partnership enhances Copia’s digital capabilities and expands Visa’s reach to the final global frontier.
The deal will include a digital wallet that brings together shopping and financial services into one platform.
Copia Global director for financial services, Evelyn Wangari said that the partnership is aimed at solving financial inclusion for the mass market in Africa.
“The partnership and rapid digitisation of customers creates a huge opportunity for Copia and Visa to bank the unbanked with previously inaccessible financial services,” said Wangari.
The Copia super-app enables consumers to not only shop and pay but also to save and borrow.
Customers will also able to fund their digital wallets, shop for household goods, pay in flexible ways and access additional financial services such as “Buy Now Pay Later” credit, “Save Now Buy Later” savings, build a credit score, and benefit from Visa’s loyalty solutions.
Additionally, the Visa partnership will enable diaspora natives to remit funds directly into the Copia wallet for purchases of essential goods and services back home.
The digital payments market is currently experiencing a surge in growth, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones.
Smartphones were first introduced to the market in 2010 but have remained largely unaffordable to mass market consumers until now.
But as the cost of smartphones and the cost of data have fallen precipitously in the last few years, lower income consumers are adopting smartphones in significant numbers.
It is estimated that more than 73 percent of Copia’s middle and low-income consumers now own smartphones, a leap from less than 10 percent a decade ago.
The digital wave is also evidenced in Copia agents, nearly all of whom were using offline (text-based) ordering at the end of 2022 and now 80 percent of them fully use the Copia app just one year later.
“Copia’s ecommerce platform provides the perfect springboard for Visa to bring financial services to the mass market. Copia’s network of customers, agents and delivery sub-contractors will benefit from Visa’s capabilities on contactless payments, remittances, and loyalty solutions, said Visa Kenya country manager, Eva Ngigi-Sarwari.