By Tyler Smith
The Vista Bank Group has selected the paytech provider Radar Payments, a branch of BPC, to support the progression of its global payment activities.
Vista has formed an ambitious agenda to challenge the status quo and deliver a superior experience to retail customers, large enterprises, and MSMEs across West Africa and the wider region.
In response to its digital-first strategy, Vista has selected Radar Payments as its preferred partner to drive digital payment adoption in the region. Radar Payments will centralise payment operations at Vista’s tech hub located in Senegal, supervising Vista Bank’s activities in Guinea, Gambia, Burkina Faso, and Sierra Leone while leaving room for further banks to join its network. It is part of the bank’s growth agenda to expand to Burkina-Faso, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Mali.
The group has already been expanding rapidly through a series of successive strategic acquisitions that include First International Bank (FIB) in The Gambia, followed by BNP Paribas’ Subsidiaries, La Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie de la Guinée (BICIGUI) in Guinea and La Banque Internationale pour le Commerce l’Industrie et l’Agriculture du Burkina (BICIAB) in Burkina Faso. As a result, Vista Bank has become the primary bank in Guinea by assets and network coverage.
The agreement will see Vista Bank running on BPC’s flagship payment suite, SmartVista to manage card issuance and lifecycle management, payment switching, ATM and Point-Of-Sales management as well as providing digital channels such as mobile banking and e-wallet; personalised to both retail and corporate clients. The bank is planning to accelerate the issuance of UnionPay International (UPI) branded cards including prepaid, debit, and premium cards, in addition to the acquisition in ATM, Point-of-Sales, Contactless, QR payment, and E-Commerce.
This announcement comes at a time where AfCFTA – the pan-African free trade agreement – has become a reality. Since 1st January 2021, AfCFTA has set new business standards for 41 countries and 1.2 billion people to help accelerate economic growth across the continent. The free trade programme promises a change in trading rules, with reduced import-export taxes making commerce more affordable for players in the region. It also means that the volume of transactions will sharply increase and banks in the continent will have to gear up for a pan-African service.
“With AfCFTA, banks have to think pan-Africa first, and realise that we need to step up the game in terms of ease of payment, a critical component to every banking and business experience,” comments Simon Tiemtoré, Group Chairman at Vista Bank. “As a challenger bank, Vista Bank is taking bold decisions when it comes to its technology stack, forming alliances with the best partners in their own fields. By selecting Radar Payments, the paytech by BPC, we have chosen a leader with a solid reputation in delivering superior global payments processing.”
Evgenia Loginova, CEO of Radar Payments, added: “We are proud to join Vista Bank on their journey to transform the way people bank, pay and get paid while making financial services more accessible to them. This partnership was born from our shared vision to successfully solve real-life payment problems with a high-end, globally proven digital solution that focuses on end customers. Together, with the help of cutting-edge digital payment solutions, we will provide easy, instant and secure movement of money, thereby transforming Vista Bank into a trailblazing player within the continent. “