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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 10 May 2021: Visa (NYSE:V), the global leader in payments technology, today announced ArifPay as the winner of the first Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) challenge in Ethiopia. With participation from 59 fintechs, the Initiative received applications that address digital payment challenges focused on digital issuance to expand access to payments and credit, increasing small merchants’ acceptance and transforming B2B payments.

ArifPay is a universal mobile Point of Sales (mPOS), an electronic payment platform designed for use by merchants, banks, and consumers in Ethiopia that any business, merchant, or consumer can use to transfer money, make invoices, or pay taxes. It connects consumers, merchants, and banks across Ethiopia. ArifPay mobile point of sale system can be used either on a tablet or smartphone that can function as a cash register. This system can be deployed on SMEs too.

The fintech challenge was part of the Ethiopian edition of VEI which is the first country-specific VEI outside of the US. VEI is a leading global innovation program for identifying and collaborating with fintechs to produce cutting-edge solutions to digital payment challenges, in addition to enhancing their product propositions and providing payment solutions for Visa’s vast network of partners.

ArifPay’s success in the Ethiopian edition has secured them final a place to compete at the CEMEA (Central Europe, Middle East & Africa) stage and win a combined $25,000 in total prize and if they are successful further proceed to compete on a global stage to win $100,000 in total prize money.

Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President & Group Country Manager, Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), Visa said:Our warm congratulations to ArifPay, the winner of the first ever Visa Everywhere Initiative in Ethiopia. Through VEI, we were on the lookout to partner with fintechs that are creating secure, agile and seamless payment experiences, thereby putting new and evolved payment experiences into the hands of consumers and businesses. We are happy to have engaged with this vibrant community and look forward to creating unique payment experiences for Ethiopia.”

Ethiopia has a clear digital transformation vision towards 2025 and payments are a cornerstone driving this vision. Hence Ethiopia is the only country in SSA/CEMEA to have their own local edition of VEI outside of US. While VEI is a platform to enable fintechs to enhance and take their innovative solutions to market faster, we as Visa feel privileged to nurture the companies that are redefining the way Ethiopia pays,” said Salvador Perez Galindo, Vice President, Central Europe Middle East and Africa, Government Engagement at Visa.

Over the last few months, Visa has been strengthening its partnerships with the payment’s ecosystem in Ethiopia. In March 2021, Visa hosted Visa Payments Forum where stakeholders from the government and private sector got together to discuss the future of payments and just recently Visa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology to promote and drive digitization in Ethiopia.

Since its inception in the US in 2015, VEI has expanded into a global platform with more than 7000+ participating startups, that have collectively raised over $2.5+ billion in funding, with more than 215 finalists and nearly 100 winners. The program has been rolled out in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa, touching over 100 countries and nearly 2,100 fintech startups have participated.  

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