A Word from Mitchell.

Two decades ago, we launched out, armed with a BOLD vision, a strong desire to engineer change and a deep hunger to enrich the lives of Africans, but not much else. We didn’t set out to be the first, or to jump into a ‘thriving’ fintech space - in fact, fintech had not really emerged as a concept in Nigeria at the time.

We were determined to fix a nagging problem – to make people’s lives easier when it came to payments, transactions and accessing their funds. We saw a way to do this by developing products and services with the consumer at the heart, leading with technology and innovation.

However, no matter how noble our intentions were, the journey wasn’t always smooth sailing. First, how do you convince people you hold the solution to a problem they didn’t realise they had? Twenty years ago, it was considered ‘normal’ to visit a banking hall, take a tally number and join long queues to transact. It was also ‘normal’ to transport large amounts of cash, even at the risk of being robbed.

There was also the uphill task of propelling people to adapt new methods for their daily activities – Nigerians had always been reliant on cash and were initially sceptical of payment technology and the lifestyle changes it presented. These were ‘dark’ times for our society, and our self-imposed responsibility was to Switch on the light across our continent.

As is the case with many pioneers, while we navigated uncharted waters, there were times when we pushed ahead with absolutely no assurances and buoyed up by just sheer tenacity and grit.

At those times, the big picture kept us going, our dream to deliver a prosperous Africa, driven by the seamless exchange of value and commerce. This was the foundation upon which Interswitch’s two flagship products, Quickteller and Verve, were created – born from our mission to solve problems and focused on delivering comprehensive solutions for individuals to make everyday payments, to help connect and simplify the lives of our customers across the continent.

Today, Verve is a leading player in the card market, having onboarded over 200 direct scheme members cross-continent and firmly consolidating its growing market share in Nigeria - in terms of card issuance and transactions. To date, Verve has issued over 35 million active payment cards, as well as a combined aggregate of well over 50 million tokens – a combination of both physical (plastic) and digital payment tokens.

Quickteller, our consumer services platform has continued to expand, with over 270,000 access points today, and actively expanding its robust offerings to include Real Estate, Energy solutions, Lending and most recently, Transport.

Today, Interswitch is a sustainable business that not only operates the largest domestic card scheme in Africa- Verve, and one of the most popular payment platforms on the continent, Quickteller, but is also backed by and partnered with, global players such as Visa, Mastercard, AMEX and Discover Global Network.

Interswitch has always been focused on the bigger picture, with the understanding that ‘going it alone’ is not the answer, and that we do better by working together.

Building a profitable, thriving business has been important, but in order to achieve our purpose of Inspiring Africa to Greatness, we had to play our part in providing an enabling environment for the ecosystem in its entirety to thrive.

This year, we are delighted to have other players in the ecosystem join us as we celebrate 20 years of birthing and transforming Africa’s Digital economy. This truly is a celebration of the Nigerian Fintech Ecosystem at 20!

During the quarter, to launch the 20th anniversary celebrations, we organised a relaxed evening of memories and conversations where we also launched our Never Stop campaign. We have also continued to unveil new solutions to drive the next era of payment technology.

This is, however, only the beginning, we still have more in the offing. Our commitment is to never stop innovating and evolving as we forge ahead on our mission to inspire Africa to greatness.

Welcome to this spectacular edition of The Switch Newsletter!!

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