Over the past years, Visa Inc has worked on increasing the acceptance of e-payments across Egypt to meet citizens’ needs using innovative methods. General manager of Visa for North Africa and the Levant, Tarek Elhousseiny, spoke to Daily News Egypt on his company’s latest partnerships and vision for the Egyptian market.
Can you tell us about the partnership you just forged with ExxonMobil and Banque Misr?
We are cooperating with Banque Misr and ExxonMobil Egypt to launch a unique strategic partnership to increase electronic payment acceptance for petrol services through 100 Exxon Mobil stations in the first phase. The partnership comes to expand the acceptance footprint and achieve financial inclusion, which is considered the basis for economic development and boosting growth. This is achieved through the provision of comprehensive financial services to the various segments of society.
The strategic partnership aims to enable Visa cardholders to use their cards in participating ExxonMobil stations and to expand electronic payments acceptance at these stations. This partnership constitutes a powerful example of the collective efforts of leading institutions to contribute to financial inclusion and expand electronic payments acceptance, allowing for greater benefits for traders, consumers, and the Egyptian economy as a whole.
This partnership is among the activities that will contribute to motivating citizens by providing them with acceptance points for buying their basic needs, including petroleum services, as well as the use of diverse electronic payment options provided by Banque Misr to meet the needs of the various segments of society. Changing the cash culture in society requires the concerted efforts of different partners and the provision of incentives to ensure that the cardholder and merchants’ preference is to enter the electronic payment system.
Can you tell us about the financial literacy mobile game you just launched in Egypt?
Visa understands that teaching consumers about money through “edutainment” or “gamification” is an effective means of demystifying a complicated subject by using the compelling and familiar medium of video games to learn while having fun. Games can be powerful teaching tools.
It has long been understood that young children learn through play, whether it is with blocks, picture books, or even hide and seek. Learning does not stop as we get older. Teens, and even adults, can learn while playing games and there is a wide range of games available to teach a variety of topics, including financial literacy.
City of Dreams is a multiplatform game that teaches players essential financial literacy tips and increases their financial management skills. Players will have a fund to start with and are acquainted with services offered by financial institutions including credit products and loans. Players will start out with a grocery store and other businesses include a pharmacy and a music store. At the start of the game, the business will accept cash only then will receive a POS after initiating a banking relationship. Mobile payment acceptance will also be enabled once the player delves further into the gaming experience. With mobile payments acceptance, players will benefit from analytics to give them a better view of their sales, customer preferences, and products they need to acquire.
Can you reflect on Visa’s vision of being the best way to pay and be paid, for everyone, everywhere? How do you continue to achieve this vision?
Visa’s network continues to grow as more consumers and businesses are drawn to the convenience of digital payments. We connect more than 3 billion Visa cards and millions of merchant locations in 200 countries and territories. Each transaction is enabled by a global network of 16,300 financial institution partners and VisaNet, one of the world’s most secure, reliable, and interoperable global payment networks. Today, VisaNet processes more than 160 billion transactions a year. Importantly, every Visa transaction on our network is secured by the industry’s most advanced analytics and fraud detection technology to ensure consumers and businesses can transact with trust and confidence.
Another measure of Visa’s impact is the extent to which our network has served as a catalyst for innovations in commerce. The sharing economy, online marketplaces, and e-commerce all exist and thrive in large part because of the inherent and universal trust in the Visa brand, the technology systems that underpin its promise, and the thousands of Visa employees around the world who support it.
The ability for Visa to connect billions of devices in the world to our network is unprecedented. In many ways, it represents the beginning of a new era where digital payments are unconstrained by wired infrastructure and any connected device can be transformed into a Visa digital payment device. Our network can now reach everyone, everywhere and digital commerce can extend to parts of the world previously excluded from its many benefits.
We recently heard about the Visa Transportation Center of Excellence. Please elaborate on how this centre works.
The world around us is changing at a pace that was previously unimaginable. Billions of connected devices have made the shopping, paying bills, and sending money to friends and family faster and easier than ever before. In many ways, smart devices represent the beginning of a new era where digital payments are unconstrained by wired infrastructure—so, any connected device can be transformed into a Visa digital payment device.
And change isn’t limited to the way that we shop and spend money—we’re also becoming more urbanised. We are witnessing the rise of the megacity—cities with populations of more than 10 million people. In 2010, there were roughly 20 megacities with that number, rising to 32 by the end of 2017. By 2025, the number of megacities is expected to grow to 41. The United Nations predicts that, by then, 66% of the world’s population will live in urban areas.
In addition to a seismic shift in where people are living, there are also significant changes in people’s attitudes towards how they get around. There is a move from ownership to sharing, from looking at transportation as a product to a service. And, as more people move into the cities where space for cars becomes a premium, that shift will continue to move at a pace.
The combination of those three elements—connected devices, urbanisation and the change in consumer behaviour—is why Visa is looking at the future of all modes of transportation, from planes and trains to automobiles and all of its ancillary services such as fuel and parking. Visa’s global network of innovation centres are an important part of this mission.
We announced the launch of a new programme focused on transportation led out of our largest innovation centre in the world—Visa Innovation Center London.
The new programme is focused on giving consumers a better experience for any mode of travel, whether by air, rail, or car. By engaging directly with airlines, transit operators, car manufacturers, rental companies, parking, and fuel providers, Visa can help create innovative solutions that integrate new and emerging technologies to make paying for parking, tolls, buses, trains, and plane rides seamless and secure.
[[QUOTE]]: Billions of connected devices are making shopping, paying bills, and sending money to friends and family faster and easier than ever before