Interswitch, one of Africa’s leading digital-payments providers processing billions of dollars in transactions value yearly

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. We invite you to donate to our fundraiser to help us keep our quality news free and available for all.

In just 17 years since Nigerian engineer and entrepreneur Mitchell Elegbe founded Interswitch in 2002 with a mission to “connect Nigeria to the digital world”, the company has grown drastically to become one of Africa’s leading digital-payments providers, processing at least $38 billion in transactions value in 2017 alone.

Today, Nigerian consumers and businesses make more than 300 million digital transactions every month across a suite of Interswitch-enabled channels.

In partnership with two leading private equity firms, US-based TA Associates and UK-based Helios, Interswitch plans to list on the Lagos and London stock exchanges this year and is expected to raise as much as $1 billion in its initial public offering.

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

Elegbe’s story began with an observation. Up until 2002, Nigerians were carrying piles of cash with them to pay for everything from groceries, cell phones to cars.

Back then, debit and credit cards were scarce as were point-of-sale (POS) machines. ATMs were also few and far between and each could be used only by customers of one bank as Nigeria lacked the infrastructure for interbank connectivity.

As a result, people spent hours in banking halls queuing for cash, or simply kept cash at home.

Elegbe saw the unmet need and launched Interswitch to close the gap.

The company built the first interbank transaction switching and payment processing infrastructure in Nigeria, which enabled interbank sharing and the first real-time POS system.

Interswitch Paydirect platform revolutionized revenue collection for governments and large companies while its online payment gateway, Webpay, opened the way for e-commerce in Nigeria.

In 2008, Interswitch launched Verve, which has become Nigeria’s most widely used card brand.

The next year in 2009, the company introduced Quickteller, an online payment platform that is accessible via a wide variety of digital and physical channels. As of today, the platform has more than 15 million users.

Interswitch’s recent innovation is Paycode, which enables cardless transactions such as ATM withdrawals and POS payments, using a digital token.

The company is also helping process contactless payments in Africa, and is upgrading the system to allow consumers to scan “quick response” barcodes from their cellphones.

Mitchell Elegbe, founder of successful company Interswitch

But Interswitch is not done yet. In 2017, the company unveiled a solid five-year strategy to broaden its service offering both to businesses and consumers, and to expand its footprint in African countries beyond Nigeria.

One of the bold visions is to buils Interswitch’s financial inclusion business, which will.help banks, merchants, and mobile networks deliver digital-payment services to Africans who do not have bank accounts.

In Nigeria one, an estimated 55 million adults, more than half the total, do not have bank account.

There seems to be plenty of rooms for other companies, including American companies to tap into that particular business.

As the continent’s populations grow in size and spending power and large and small businesses multiply and expand, demand for digital solutions and infrastructure will continue to explode, predict the writers of the book “Africa’s business revolution”.


Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now



Rights group finds Twitter still failing women over online violence and abuse

Twitter is still not doing enough to protect women from online violence and abuse, despite repeated promises to do so, new...

Amnesty International describes Trump administration’s threats to pull federal resources from cities because of Black Lives Matter protests as ‘damaging’

Amnesty International on Monday described the Donald Trump administration's threat to pull federal resources from three cities run by Democrats because...

Should Trump run again or resign as U.S. records worst coronavirus death toll in the world with 200,000 Americans dead?

In normal circumstances, President Donald Trump should have offered his resignation letter a long time ago, rather than run for re-election,...

IMF says Senegalese economy severely hit by COVID-19 would rebound in 2021

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday that the Senegalese economy, which has been severely hit by COVID-19 pandemic, would...

Boost for global response to COVID-19 as economies worldwide formally join COVAX

64 higher income economies have now joined the COVAX Facility, with a further 38 economies expected to sign in the coming days


Damning report finds detainees in Iran were sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown

Iran’s police, intelligence and security forces, and prison officials have committed, with the complicity of judges and prosecutors, a catalogue of...

IMF approves disbursement of additional $1 billion for Angola to respond to COVID-19 economic fallout

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved the disbursement of an additional $1 billion for Angola to respond to...

USAID awards millions of dollars to Washington State University to combat lethal livestock disease in East Africa known as East Coast Fever

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded millions of dollars to Washington State University to combat a lethal livestock...

Ethiopia charges prominent opposition figure Jawar Mohammed with terrorism

As human rights organizations continue to warn that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is turning Ethiopia into a dictatorship, his administration on...

WHO and UNICEF sign 10-year partnership to promote mental health of children and adolescents

 A new partnership between WHO and UNICEF is calling for key actions in universal health coverage, mental health, emergencies and nutrition

Rights group finds Twitter still failing women over online violence and abuse

Twitter is still not doing enough to protect women from online violence and abuse, despite repeated promises to do so, new analysis by Amnesty International has revealed.The Twitter Scorecard grades the social media company’s record on implementing a series of recommendations to tackle abuse against women on the platform, since Amnesty first highlighted the scale of the problem in its...

Stay connected


[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]