Nigerian fintech startup Sparkle partners Visa to empower consumers, SMEs

Visa opens first innovation studio in Africa to advance future payment solutions

Nigerian fintech startup Sparkle, a digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle and business support services, has partnered Visa in a collaboration that will enable it to issue Visa cards to its users, benefiting consumers, entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Disrupt Africa reported back in June on the launch of Sparkle, founded by former Diamond Bank chief executive officer (CEO) and tech entrepreneur Uzoma Dozie with the aim of providing seamless solutions to Nigerian individuals, SMEs and retailers.

The startup, which was granted a banking license by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), offers comprehensive support for individuals, including flexible payments, savings and analytics to provide greater freedom, flexibility and control over finances and lifestyle. Its mobile app gives customers full and free access to one account that offers multiple services and different wallets. 

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Under the strategic collaboration with Visa, Sparkle customers will have greater freedom and flexibility in how they make payments. For instance, they can make in-app payments with the embedded Visa virtual card, and make e-commerce payments with the virtual card or with Visa-branded companion plastic cards attached to their Sparkle profile. 

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Sparkle customers will also benefit from a range of other digital payments initiatives from Visa, for example, by scanning the interoperable EMVCo Quick Response (QR) code or just entering an Alias such as phone number or merchant till number to pay for goods at merchant outlets. Sparkle customers can receive cross-border remittances from family and friends who are Visa cardholders into their Sparkle account.

“Our partnership with Visa will bring a wide range of benefits to Sparkle’s customers, individuals, entrepreneurs and SMEs. We are excited to work with Visa as we strive to re-define e-commerce by removing barriers to business using technology and data.

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Working with a global partner like Visa allows us to deliver a bespoke and personalised service for our customers by tapping into large networks so they can fulfil their full potential,” Dozie said.


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