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

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.

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 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”.

Read full article

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: [email protected]


  1. […] Nigerian consumers and businesses make more than 300 million digital transactions every month via a suite of channels enabled by […]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

Trump taken to underground bunker as anti-racism protesters roar outside White House

President Donald Trump was taken to an underground bunker as anti-racism and anti-police brutality protesters roared outside the White House on...

Former African presidents release joint statement backing embattled African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina

In an unprecedented move, former African heads of state and government released a jointly signed letter on Friday, backing the embattled...

Can COVID-19 be passed through breastfeeding and should mothers wear face masks before breastfeeding their babies?

The World Health organization (WHO) has provided answers to questions many have about possible links between COVID-19 and breastfeeding, and whether...

Influential African Prophet TB Joshua tells President Trump another bigger crisis coming end of June

Even as violent protests continue to spread across the United States following the death of George Floyd in the midst of...

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Nobel Peace Prize winning dictator of Ethiopia

The Nobel Peace Prize winning Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed Ali is turning Africa's second most populous country into a...
- Advertisement -



Read full article

error: Alert: Content is protected !!