IFC Invests in Interswitch to Expand Financial Services and Promote a Cashless Society
Lagos, Nigeria - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today an investment of $10.5 million in electronic payments company Interswitch Limited to help consumers at all income levels in Nigeria and other parts of Africa gain improved, low-cost access to financial services.
IFC’s investment is part of an acquisition of Interswitch by a syndicate that includes Helios Investment Partners and Adlevo Capital Partners. The investment will help Interswitch, a Nigerian electronic payments switching and processing company that allows shared and interoperable electronic payment services in Nigeria, grow its business in Africa.
The project will allow Interswitch to offer better access to easier forms of electronic payments and reduce cash in circulation, which has been a source of crime, fraud and corruption. It will also allow low-income consumers to access sophisticated financial services and products.
Mitchell Elegbe, founder and Managing Director of Interswitch Limited, said, "We value this partnership with IFC that will facilitate electronic payments services to a larger market in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC Senior Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “IFC is committed to development that extends access to financial services broadly in Nigeria. In partnership with Interswitch, IFC and its co-investors are supporting the government’s vision of a cashless society. This co-investment with Helios and Adlevo enables our private equity partners to expand their portfolios through a company that will produce strong development impact.”
Interswitch facilitates card transactions using its infrastructure that links debit, credit and prepaid cards issued by banks to a wide range of payment channels including point of sale terminals, automated teller machines and web merchants. Interswitch also operates Verve, a card scheme which enables low-cost, high performance card services to consumers. Interswitch operates in Nigeria and Uganda.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
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