Payments technology platform, VISA, has signed a landmark sponsorship deal with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as part of its strategies to drive financial inclusion.
According to the company, it aims at reaching a lot of football loving Africans and to rope them into the banking sector.
“We try to, not just speak about financial inclusion but act it and we continue to work with the government to say what can we do? We see football as one of those great opportunities and so we would be able to replicate some of the ideas.” Group Country Manager at VISA West Africa, Kemi Okusanya said.
Madam Okusanya decries the latest Global Findex Database report which has revealed that access to a bank account in Ghana has increased from 29% in 2011 to just 58% in 2017. According to her, this development still leaves much to be desired.
In response to what more can be done to improve the numbers, she said, there is the need for government or the regulator to intensify bank savings education, especially in the rural areas.
She said, “There’s a lot, but of the top of my head, one is education.”
She added, “There’s a perception issue; you speak with the average trader in the rural areas, their thinking is hey, the bank is not safe for me.”
Kemi Okusanya spoke to JoyBusiness after the official signing took place between her outfit and CAF
VISA, CAF partnership
The 4-year deal becomes one of the biggest deals for CAF in recent times with the American electronic payment platform. The partnership is expected to cover the official sponsorship packages of the AFCON 2020 and AFCON 2022.
The sponsorship deal implies that VISA would become a monopoly in payment services provision at all venues during the Total AFCON in 2019 and 2021 and the preferred payment option for tickets bought both in-person and online as well.
The payments giant will also be the official partner of the player escort program, giving 1,100 children the opportunity to lead their football heroes out at AFCON matches.
The Regional President of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) at VISA, Andrew Torre, in his submission at the event said his outfit seeks to leverage the Total AFCON platform to do more by way of increasing its offerings to its local communities, clients, partners and fans as they come together to support the best of African football.
On his part, President of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad welcomed VISA as a sponsor of the Total AFCON tournament. He is optimistic that together, both entities will take African football to the next level.
The momentous signing agreement was powered by Lagardere Sports.