Kenyan e-commerce start-up Copia announces 5-year partnership with Visa

Kenyan e-commerce start-up Copia announces 5-year partnership with Visa

Copia and Visa’s partnership will include a digital wallet that brings together shopping and financial services into one. | PHOTO: Copia/Handout

Kenyan e-commerce and financial technology start-up Copia on Monday announced a five-year partnership with global digital payments provider Visa.

The business-to-consumer (B2C) venture provides a platform for rural, middle to low-income consumers to order products that are delivered at their convenience. 

Copia and Visa’s partnership will include a digital wallet that brings together shopping and financial services into one, allowing consumers to not only shop and pay but also to save and borrow from the start-up’s app.

Customers will be able to fund their digital wallets, shop for household goods, pay in flexible ways and access additional financial services such as “Buy Now Pay Later” credit, “Save Now Buy Later” savings, build a credit score, and benefit from Visa’s loyalty solutions.

Copia said the Visa partnership will additionally enable diaspora natives to remit funds directly into the Copia wallet for purchases of essential goods and services back home.

“The partnership and rapid digitization of customers creates a huge opportunity for Copia and Visa to bank the unbanked with previously inaccessible financial services, solving financial inclusion for the mass market in Africa,” said Evelyn Wangari, Director of Financial Services at Copia Global. 

“Copia’s e-commerce platform provides the perfect springboard for Visa to bring financial services to the mass market. Copia’s network of customers, agents and delivery sub-contractors will benefit from Visa’s capabilities on contactless payments, remittances, and loyalty solutions, said Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Kenya Country Manager.

Copia was founded in 2013 by former Silicon Valley maestros Tracey Turner and Jonathan Lewis.

Its model comprises digitally-enabled, locally-based agents who operate as order and delivery points to meet consumers where they are, online or offline.

The agents are existing trusted shopkeepers like a local grocer or butcher, where customers can select and pay for products chosen from a Copia catalogue. 

Once a customer places an order, Copia sends an SMS order confirmation to both the agent and the customer and in 2 days, Copia delivers the products to the agent for customer pick up.

Visa on the other hand facilitates payment transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions, and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories.

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