United Bank for Africa Plc has announced a deal with Ixaris and its Nigerian partner, Ojapay, to deploy a virtual card platform across its 20 African markets. The bank said it would use Ixaris Payment Server to deliver innovative payment options for individuals and corporates
The e-commerce market in Africa is predicted to reach $75bn by 2025. However, many consumers and businesses across the continent currently lack a secure, convenient and low-cost means to make purchases online.
To take a share of the market opportunity, UBA selected Ixaris Payments Server to deploy payments programmes based on virtual prepaid cards. The Deputy Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, UBA Africa, Kennedy Uzoka, said in a statement, “We have partnered Ixaris and Ojapay to make this convenient payment option available to customers because virtual cards are not only easy and convenient to use but also protect users against online fraud. They will offer our customers across Africa a new layer protection and security for their online transactions.”
According to the statement, UBA’s new virtual card option will enable more than 10 million customers across 20 African markets to make safe and easy online purchases at any online merchant worldwide. It added that the new virtual payment card would also enable the bank’s corporate clients to take advantage of the wider range of goods and services available on the Internet, while also enhancing internal controls through full traceability of purchasing and payments activities.
Virtual cards work in the same way as plastic payment cards, but are issued in electronic rather than physical form, according to the statement. It added that they had now become the payment instrument of choice for a range of flexible solutions for payments-related problems faced by consumers and corporate organisations in many regions of the world.
“Virtual cards offer our customers an exciting new option to securely consummate their transactions. As one of Africa’s leading banks, we are proud to offer customers another innovative payment solutions. The changing dynamics of the African banking industry means that we have to constantly seek value-adding partnerships that meet the financial challenges faced by our customers,” Uzoka said. The Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ixaris, Alex Mifsud, said, “We are excited to be working with UBA, one of the most respected banks in Africa, to help bring safe and convenient e-commerce to millions of people who can really benefit from it.”