Visa recently launched the Sasuza Visa campaign.
Below is a Q&A with Ms. Salma Ingabire, the Visa Country Director/ Business Development Leader, Sub-Saharan Africa.
Qn. Visa recently launched the Sasuza Visa campaign. Please tell us about this campaign.
Last week Visa launched a consumer education campaign that aims to eliminate the practice of surcharging, where merchants levy extra charges on payments made using debit or credit cards at a Point of Sale (POS).
Many times, consumers are discouraged from transacting directly using their Visa card because they are charged extra amounts when they do. With this campaign we aim to inform the public that they can pay using their Visa card at no cost.
Together with our partners, we relentlessly work towards changing the behavior of the Ugandan population by encouraging them to pay directly with their Visa card at a merchant location.
Qn. This campaign also coincides with a time when the Uganda Government is discouraging people from transacting with cash. Was this intentional?
We have seen an increasing demand among consumers and merchants to take advantage of the benefits of cashless payments in light of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Visa, we are working with our partners to ensure that our capabilities are made widely available and updated specifically to help meet today’s challenges. This includes ensuring that merchants do not surcharge consumers who are using their Visa card to pay for goods and services.
The Sasuza Visa campaign is also very timely because Uganda, like the rest of the world, is battling with the novel Coronavirus pandemic and we are joining the Government of Uganda to encourage Ugandans to protect themselves by practicing cashless payments along with physical distancing and good hygiene practices.
Qn. Who is this campaign targeting?
This campaign targets all Ugandans. Currently, Visa enjoys unique partnerships with many banking institutions in Uganda and many Ugandans possess debit and credit cards from these institutions. With the disruption caused by the pandemic, we want Visa card holders to feel safe when transacting.
As part of the campaign, we will also be partnering with various merchants such as supermarkets and fuel stations to ensure consumers enjoy convenient and safe transactions when using their Visa card to pay for their purchases.
Qn. Since the Covid 19 pandemic broke out, we have seen a major disruption in businesses with some even opting to shut down. How can a global brand like Visa save some of the businesses that are currently in a tough situation?
Globally, Visa and our partners connect more than 61 million merchant locations. This puts us in a unique position to help businesses drive sales in this critical moment.
Leveraging our network, our partners and our products we can help sellers get online easily to reach more consumers; we can share data and insights to help businesses build their brands; and we can help buyers and sellers work together through uncertainty.
Below are some truths we are recognizing in this new normal and are using to help guide our product priorities to support sellers:
• Consumers are shifting to digital-first commerce – no matter what they are buying.
• Small businesses around the globe are seeking quick and immediate paths to recovery as many navigate the overnight move to digital commerce.
• Sellers, partners, employees and customers need and expect secure, immediate access to funds digitally and as one of the most trusted payments network in the world, Visa delivers fast and secure money movement options that address pain points today.
• Cashless payment experiences are a necessity – avoiding contact while buying is better for health and safety.
Qn. One of the biggest hindrances to the uptake of Visa payments in Uganda is the fear of fraud. How has Visa approached this?
Fraudsters are building up a wealth of personal information on people’s day-to-day lifestyle, such as the stores they frequent, the bank or credit union they belong to, or the subscription services they have signed up for.
The single most important advice to remember is: don’t reveal personal information in unsolicited communication. If you get a call, SMS or e-mail asking for personal or financial information, just ignore and hang up. If you think it was really your bank, your payment card issuer, or someone from the government trying to contact you, you can always call them back by dialing the relevant organization’s official number.
This is what we constantly stress to consumers, helping them to understand that they are the first line of defense.
Visa works tirelessly to meet consumers’ payment needs around security, reliability, convenience, and trust.
Our success is attributed to intelligent technology we deploy and educational tools and communication platforms we create to educate consumers.
Visa’s Risk team operates with 24x7x365 vigilance to detect, prevent, and respond to threats in real-time. We have kept global fraud rates at historic lows—less than 0.1 percent —through a multi-layered approach of investing in human capital and technology like Artificial Intelligence.
Qn. This Sasuza Visa campaign is the first major activity that we have witnessed in the market by Visa. What does the future hold for Visa users?
At Visa, we are keen on being part of the everyday life of consumers. With the ever-changing face of monetary transactions, consumers have become more techno savvy, decisive and particular about their overall experience while transacting. To this end, Visa’s operations in Uganda are firmly based on bringing about innovative products that promote safe and convenient transactions.
As a leading global payments technology company, we understand that the most important contribution we can make to the society is to bring more people into the formal financial system. We do so by creating pathways to financial inclusion for the financially underserved through our products, services, technology, and payments expertise and our strategic partnerships.
We believe that our strategy is aligned to that of Uganda’s five-year National Financial Inclusion Strategy that was launched in October 2017, which seeks to reduce financial exclusion from 15% to 5% by 2022 by ensuring that all Ugandans have access to and use a broad range of quality and affordable financial services.
Visa is committed to leading the industry toward a more secure, trusted payment system and we continue to share our global experience of driving the growth of electronic payments in over 200 countries and territories around the world, with the regulator and other industry stakeholders in the country.