Interswitch is a leading African integrated payments and digital commerce platform company headquartered in Lagos. Founded in 2002 in Nigeria, as a transaction switching and processing company with national focus, Interswitch progressively evolved to incorporate consumer financial services with the successive launches of Quickteller, a retail payments ecosystem linking merchants and billers with consumers, as well as Verve, a homegrown, EMV-certified payments card scheme.

Company typePublic
HeadquartersLagos, Nigeria
Key people
Mitchell Elegbe (Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer)[1]

History edit

After using an ATM for the first time in Scotland, Mitchell Elegbe developed an idea to create electronic payment infrastructure in Nigeria while he was working on implementing SWIFT. Working at Telnet, his boss approved the transaction switch. However most players he sold to were not interested in the software for switching; this led him to creating Interswitch so as to meet his targets. With the assistance of Accenture, Elegbe and his team established the company, of which he then became CEO. In 2010 two thirds of the company was sold to a consortium led by Helios Investment Partners.[2][1] In 2011 Interswitch took a 60 per cent stake in Bankom in Uganda.[1]

In 2013 Interswitch entered into an agreement for payment processing with Discover Financial Services.[3]

In September 2014 the company acquired a majority shareholding in Paynet Group, an East-African payments provider.[4]

In 2015 Interswitch launched a $10m investment fund for African start-ups in the payments sector.[5]

In February 2018, Interswitch unveiled its SPAK National Science Competition to promote and reward excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Nigeria.[6]

In January 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued Interswitch a Payments Service Holding Company (PSHC) License. This served as one of the inaugural licensees by the CBN in this category. The development interestingly coincided with Interswitch’s 20th anniversary commemoration, which has seen the Company cement its position as a pioneering and integral enabler that has actively supported the growth and development of fintech and payments progressively across Africa over the last 20 years.[7]

Operations and subsidiaries edit

The Interswitch company was established as, common African financial services provider and maintains exclusively, a wide array of interconnected datacenters in Africa.[8] The company has over 11,000 ATMs on its network, with more users in Nigeria than anywhere else.[2]

Verve, a payment card industry is another subsidiary of Interswitch.[8] Verve has also been launched in Kenya.[9]

Interswitch also owns Quickteller, originally cited as a Telecommunication airtime vendor, additionally, providing payments services.

Interswitch systems deploys sophisticated inter-networking security and firewalls, as common brand innovation. [10][11][12]

In October 2020, Quickteller launched the Qtrybe community, a community of 50 exceptional students from Nigerian tertiary institutions to serve as ambassadors of Quickteller and Interswitch on their campuses.[13][14]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c News, Bloomberg (28 January 2022). "Nigeria's Interswitch Plans African Buys After Uganda Deal". Bloomberg. Retrieved 31 March 2015. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  2. ^ a b Idem, Charles (November 2013). "Spreading tentacles across Africa" (PDF). Forbes Africa. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Yours To Discover: How Discover Financial Services Is A Direct Play On The U.S. Recovery". Seeking Alpha. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  4. ^ Akingbolu, Raheem (22 September 2014). "Interswitch Enters Partnership with Paynet Group". This Day. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  5. ^ "E-payment: Interswitch Nigeria launches a specialized investment fund". Jeune Afrique. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Interswitch unveils SPAK initiative to boost sciences". 22 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Rice, Xan (18 August 2013). "Boom in plastic money as Nigeria spends, spends, spends". Financial Times. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  9. ^ Aglionby, John (27 October 2015). "New payments service to launch in Kenya". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  10. ^ Rice, Xan (15 December 2013). "Nigeria embraces cashless revolution". Financial Times. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  11. ^ Akingbolu, Raheem (13 November 2014). "Retailpay as a New Positioning Tool for Interswitch". This Day. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  12. ^ Akingbolu, Raheem (15 January 2014). "Interswitch Smartgov to boost Cross River's revenue". This Day. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  13. ^ "You could get paid by Quickteller to be an influencer on your campus: Here is the gist". Pulse Nigeria. 2020-10-08. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  14. ^ "Quickteller Student Ambassador Program for Nigerian Undergraduates". Ace world Pub. 14 December 2020.