Copia partners with Visa to offer shopping and financial services to customers in Africa

Copia Global, the e-commerce and fintech platform for African mass market consumers, and Visa have announced a strategic partnership to provide digital financial services to 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 partnership between Copia and Visa will include a digital wallet that brings together shopping and financial services into one user-friendly platform.  The Copia super-app enables consumers to not only shop and pay but also to save and borrow.

(TOP: From Left Eva Ngigi – Sarwari, the acting GM, Visa East Africa, and Tim Steel, CEO, Copia Global, go through the Copia app during the partnership signing between Visa and Copia at Visa offices).

Customers will be 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.  This is transformative as more than 73% of Copia’s middle and low-income consumers now own smartphones, a leap from less than 10% 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% of them fully use the Copia app just one year later.

“The partnership and rapid digitization of customers creates a huge opportunity for Copia and Visa to bank the unbanked with previously inaccessible financial services, solving financial inclusion for the mass market in Africa,” said Evelyn Wangari, the Director of Financial Services at Copia Global.

“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 Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Kenya Country Manager.

“Our partnership with Visa will impact millions of lives by providing unparalleled access to digital financial services and fulfills Copia’s ambition to be a one-stop shop for all underserved customers in Africa,” said Tim Steel, Copia’s CEO.

The collaboration marks a significant milestone for both companies and will reshape the global landscape of digital financial services.

Copia was founded in 2013 by Silicon Valley veterans Tracey Turner and Jonathan Lewis, with a vision to bring the power of e-commerce and financial services to middle and low-income Africans, transforming this historically neglected market into empowered global consumers.

According to the IMF, consumer spending in Africa is projected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2025, with the middle class driving this growth and potential for prosperity. However, formal retailers and Western-style e-commerce companies struggle to serve this Customer segment. With digital technologies, world-class delivery capabilities and a local Agent network, Copia can profitably serve a previously unreachable market.


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