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Visa Aids Development in South Sudan

Zacks Equity Research

According to Reuters, Visa Inc. (V) has joined forces with the first foreign bank in Sudan – Kenya Commercial Bank (:KCB) – in order to launch credit card services in South Sudan, according to Reuters. Hit hard by brutal civil wars, South Sudan has been restructuring its financial system with the help of various foreign national banks for over 6 years now.

Accordingly, KCB has gained a license from Visa to offer its credit cards in South Sudan, thereby reaching out to more than 12 million people in the region. Moreover, associating with KCB will enable better penetration for Visa credit cards as the bank holds a 42% market share, serving over 138,000 customers in South Sudan.

Through this initiative, Visa also aims to gradually reach out to the bank’s customers through automated teller machines (ATMs). While some outlets have already started accepting Visa credit cards, KCB expects to introduce Visa payment modes in all the hotels of the country by the end of 2013.

Visa, through this collaboration, aims to augment its present endeavor of providing customized and value-added solutions to its clients. The alliance also gives a competitive edge to the company’s credit card portfolio, given the lack of penetration of other arch rivals in the African country.

The deal will also accentuate Visa’s financials by bolstering the number of transactions on its network as KCB shifts additional credit card volume to the former.We expect the deal to enable both the parties to improve their clientele base and thereby enhance their respective sales structures.

Furthermore, the alliance will not only improve payment efficiencies but also maintain security standards, thereby allowing consumers access to an authentic transaction and hardware-based display protection. Overall, the alliance elucidates the rapid progression in the electronic payment process space, particularly in such untapped, war-hit markets possessing strong potential.

Along with Visa, its peers such as MasterCard Inc. (MA), Xoom Corp. (XOOM) and Fiserv Inc. (FISV) appear impressive at Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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