October 1, 2019
Verve Card has promised to continually improve financial inclusion across borders and make payments much more seamless and efficient. This promise was made in Lagos by Mitchell Elegbe, Founder/GMD, Interswitch Group, during a media parley on Friday, September 27, 2019, to mark Verve’s 10th year anniversary.
The event, which held at the George Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, had in attendance members of the media, partner banks, other trade partners and a representative of the payment industry regulator – Samuel Okojere, Director of Payments Systems Management, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Verve is a leading payments technology and card business in Africa established by Interswitch Group in 2009. It has since grown to become an independent company of its own with a portfolio of several product offerings.
Elegbe stated that the card scheme has experienced steady and explosive growth in the payment segment. He said: “Our card scheme has grown from just an idea to solve the payment inefficiencies in Nigeria, into a bouquet of innovative payment solutions for Nigerians, Africans, and the rest of the world. I consider these first 10 years as years of consolidation and growth. We anticipate the next 10 years to be years of massive investment in unprecedented payment service delivery”, he said.
Noting that nothing good comes easy, Elegbe said that the company has had its fair share of turbulent times, but has succeeded because of its people. He said: “Our people have trudged on, ensuring that objectives set are met, projects are delivered, relationships with partners are well nurtured and ultimately, customers are satisfied. All these have helped the brand to earn its stripes and come this far. Today, the solutions and products Verve has brought to the marketplace demonstrate what can happen to any endeavor when met with the right people, opportunities and environment.”
Currently, the Verve Classic card is issued in Nigeria and eight other African countries and accepted in 21 African countries; while the Verve Global card is accepted in 185 countries including the U.S, U.K and Dubai.
For Mike Ogbalu III, CEO, Verve International, the story of Verve is one of resilience, innovation, determination and most importantly, a business proposition that has turned out to be successful.
He said: “At the time Verve was introduced, Nigeria was dominated by international card schemes. There was the need to have a domestic card scheme with better understanding of the needs of the Nigerian populace and Africans at large. Today, we have built a payment solution that does not only allow ease of payment across Africa, but has a superstructure that the rest of the world is willing to embrace”
He added: “Verve is not only a payment card; Verve has become a lifestyle for its users. It is the way we pay, play and interact. Verve is both a contact and contactless payment solution, a physical and virtual store of value. It is African’s key to exchange”.
The event kicked off with a rendition in spoken words by Wana Wana titled ‘Vervolution’, followed by a 10-minute documentary on ‘The Verve journey, story & Future’.
There was also a panel session moderated by Mike Ogbalu III which featured discussions about the e-payment sector in Nigeria, its attendant challenges and solutions. The panelists were Gbolahan Joshua, Executive Director, Operations and Information, Fidelity Bank Plc; Olu Akanmu, Executive Director, Retail Banking, FCMB; Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Payment Processing, Interswitch and Stanley Jacobs, Chairman, Committee of e-Business Industry Heads, (CeBIH). Verve was launched in 2009 and is currently the only African card scheme that is a member of EMVCo, the global body responsible for setting and regulating payment card standards.
Photo caption: (L-R) Mitchell Elegbe, GMD and Founder, Interswitch Group; Patrick Akinwutan, MD / Regional Executive, Ecobank Nigeria Plc and Mike Ogbalu III, CEO, Verve International at the Verve at 10 media parley held in Lagos, September 27, 2019