BankservAfrica and UnionPay International (UPI) have announced a groundbreaking collaboration aimed at facilitating seamless e-commerce transactions for UPI cardholders across Africa. This partnership aims to introduce UPI e-commerce acceptance in several countries across the continent, significantly enhancing the digital commerce landscape.

BankservAfrica's Role in Africa's E-Commerce Growth

As the largest automated payments clearing house in Africa, BankservAfrica plays a crucial role in processing billions of low-value card, ATM, and account-to-account transactions annually. Stephen Linnell, CEO of BankservAfrica, highlighted the company's strategic position: “BankservAfrica is well-positioned to serve Africa’s growing e-commerce market regionally and internationally.”

UnionPay International's Commitment to African Markets

UnionPay International has long recognized the importance of African markets. Asad Burney, Head of UnionPay International Africa region, stated, “The new project of enabling e-commerce acceptance offers great opportunities to existing UnionPay cardholders by providing African merchants expanded exposure to a global audience.”

Expanding Network and Operations

In December 2023, UPI appointed BankservAfrica as its domestic on-soil processor for affordable, accessible, and innovative card payments in South Africa. This partnership is a significant step for UPI, which now operates in 50 African countries and spans a global network across 183 countries. The agreement with BankservAfrica is expected to further expand UPI’s reach within the continent.

BankservAfrica's Key Role in Africa’s Payment System

BankservAfrica serves as the transactional link between many of Africa’s major payment institutions. As the largest Automated Clearing House (ACH) on the continent, it is a key partner in South Africa’s National Payment System, ensuring efficient and reliable transactions.

Strategic Partnership for E-Commerce Growth

UPI and BankservAfrica believe this strategic partnership positions them to be at the forefront of accelerated e-commerce growth across Africa. According to the International Trade Administration, this rapid expansion is expected to see about 500 million people using e-commerce for their everyday transactions by 2025.

Promoting Digital Trade and Economic Development

“With the continent’s hyperconnected economy on the rise, BankservAfrica will continue to provide sustainable payment services for the digitally transforming future,” added Linnell. “We are excited by this collaboration and its potential to promote digital trade that fosters economic development and eases everyday online payments.”