Exploring Africa’s blossoming fintech ecosystem, The Fintech Times delves into the success of Visa’s Accelerator Program from the cohort’s perspective, uncovering the program’s instrumental role in fostering and bolstering startups across the continent.
With the fintech startup scene growing at an exponential rate, the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator aims to support these startups across the continent in a 12-week virtual program to support them in their next stage of growth.
The inaugural edition of the accelerator showcased 23 startups hailing from across Africa. Each participant benefited from tailored mentoring sessions conducted by industry professionals and gained access to invaluable insights from various stakeholders within the ecosystem, including Visa partner Plug and Play.
Amin Ben Abderrahman, CEO of Konnect, a Tunisian fintech that helps businesses of all sizes scale and grow using different payment methods, sat down with Polly Jean Harrison from The Fintech Times to share more about their journey with the Visa Fintech Accelerator program.
The current landscape
According to Abderrahman, the African market is constantly moving, with fintech often seeing the biggest investment as it moves forward.
It is this movement that Abderrahman believes makes Visa interested in nurturing the African market as “there is still a lot to do.”
He continued: “For example, in the country where we are operating, we have only 35 per cent of the population that is banked – from that 35 per cent, only 30 per cent have a payment card – so the market is still huge.”
“I think Visa is seeing it as a good sign for them to invest in supporting these small fintech companies in their mission of making digital financial services more common, affordable, and accessible. So, this accelerator program has come on time.”
Support from experts
As part of their participation in the program, each startup received support and guidance from a variety of industry players.
“We have been put in touch with a lot of experts coming from Visa’s network and Plug and Play’s network,” explained Abderrahman.
“We have had several workshops about regulation, compliance, business models, marketing etc. It was great to hear all these experts giving us ideas, it’s enlightening in so many ways. We also had privileged access to Visa APIs to explore a little more with what we can do with the catalogue of APIs and services that Visa is offering. We can open the eyes of the banks and other people from the ecosystem to the capabilities that we have today in our mission to make financial services more accessible to everyone.”
To learn more about Konnect, its position in the African market and involvement in the Visa Fintech Accelerator, watch the full video interview below.