Tarek Elhousseiny, Visa General Manager for North and West Africa
Visa announced today that it is expanding its operations in Egypt, further cementing the operation as a hub for driving the company’s growth across North and West Africa. The expansion includes relocating to new premises in New Cairo and further staff recruitment.
Visa established a fully-fledged head office in Egypt office in 2004 and as the payment card industry in the region has evolved, so too has the scope of its responsibilities and operations.
“After almost 10 years in the Egyptian market, Visa has seen a tremendous need for expansion as growth in card payments has increased 5-fold to over 10 million cardholders,” said Tarek Elhousseiny, Visa’s General Manager for North and West Africa. “Electronic payments constitute 9% of Egypt’s GDP and act as a springboard to the development of strong, modern economies. Digital currency is instrumental to helping drive Egypt’s economy in the new era and we see 2012 as a year full of opportunities,” he added.
Speaking at a round-table briefing, Elhousseiny also noted that the VisaNet network was working throughout the events of January and February and that customers who could not withdraw cash when the ATMs were down, could rely on their Visa cards to get basic needs.
With the expansion of Visa’s business in North and West Africa, the new Visa office in Cairo will be better able to support the company’s growth across some 19 countries in the region. To serve Visa’s client banks, the new office will also feature a business-to-business call centre and a team of professionals dedicated to help growing the electronic payments industry in Egypt and North and West Africa. The company will also continue to work with its clients, the banking authorities and regulators to enhance the infrastructure of the industry and to help increase the banked population to levels above the current 10% level in Egypt.
“North and West Africa present huge opportunities for the development of electronic payments. By providing our clients and partners with enhanced services and support, we look forward to bringing more individuals into the banking system and providing them with better access to different types of electronic payments,” continued Mr. Elhousseiny. “Visa is committed to developing products that promote transparency and accountability, reduce transaction costs, increase the number of people with access to formal financial services and decrease the size of the gray or informal economy, all of which helps to stimulate economic growth and employment.”