KAMPALA – Xente, a financial technology platform that offers business payments solutions has on Wednesday partnered with Visa, the global leader in digital payments to issue virtual and physical Visa business cards across businesses.
This comes shortly after Xente Tech got the limelight for more opportunities to provide better financial services to businesses in Uganda having obtained the Payment Systems Operator (PSO) license from Bank of Uganda.
Allan Rwakatungu, Xente’s Founder and CEO first commended Central Bank for granting them operating licenses.
He also lauded the government saying that Xente is a testament of the good policies that government has initiated to push the ICT sector.
Rwakatungu noted that the launched physical and virtual visa cards are specifically designed for businesses to allow them to pay globally anywhere visa is accepted.
“This card, not only allows businesses to pay but allows them to set payment policy to control where the cards are used. The physical cards can work online but also offline. We believe we are solving a real-world problem, today, 90% of businesses still rely on cash, checks, and paperwork and that needs to change.”
“Managing a business and its money has become more complex, teams are distributed and remote, payments to vendors are online and global, business is digital. Our solution will help finance and accounting teams manage this complexity in a one-stop platform. We will save companies a lot of money and countless person-hours,” he added.
With Xente’s partnership with Visa and Ecobank, businesses and their teams can make payments for online and offline purchases, anywhere in the world, and their finance and administration teams will be able to control and monitor this spend in real-time. The Xente Visa cards will provide versatility for business, and can be used to pay online vendors, petty cash, travel, per diem, meals, reimbursements, and disbursements.
State Minister for ICT, Godfrey Kabyanga officiated at the launch and said “Xente has been our baby at the ministry, we have given them support.”
He challenged the youths to utilize the good policies set by the government to do business and grow.
“Once we put a tarmac road, we want you to reach Mbarara, Moroto very fast. Go and explore what is in Moroto and make money. As ICT Ministry, we have put in place very good policies, even the funds for innovation. We are now going to embark on the phase five of the National Backbone Infrastructure and we are going also to embark on the last mile connectivity so that every village is connected to internet. It’s now upon Xente to ensure that their card reaches everywhere because internet will be everywhere.”
Visa’s Vice President and General Manager for East Africa, Corine Mbiaketcha expressed her dismay that with electronic payment increasingly displacing cash, Uganda is still at 90% cash.
“Africa has kept pace of providing digital solutions because this is the only way that we are going to be able to mitigate the gap and ensure that we include all our ecosystem both from consumer side also from business corporate side.”
She also challenged the government to put emphasis on Small and Medium businesses, noting that today they represent in some economies, 70-80%, in Africa 70-90% of job creation.
“SMEs will be key drivers of the economy growth and job creation in Uganda more than anywhere else.”
“We believe fintechs can unlock unique opportunities for us and our clients. Such collaborations at country level will empower business owners to digitize their payments and avoid inefficiencies associated with cash and paper-based systems, whilst taking control of and effectively managing their finances and business expenses. We are confident that with Xente, we will execute remarkably in the market,” she added.
Ecobank Uganda’s Managing Director, Grace Muliisa, said “Today marks a very important chapter in the payment space in our country where a bank and a fintech are coming together to improve financial service delivery and especially for the corporates and businesses.”
“As Ecobank, we know financial inclusion can ultimately contribute to economic development and this collaboration to issue the Xente Visa Cards is a further demonstration of Ecobank’s commitment to provide affordable, simple and innovative solutions for corporates across Africa which is a key strategic driver towards achieving this goal,” she added.
Today, Xente has over 500 business customers including Jumia, TPO, Mkopa, Financial Sector.