Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) has become the latest payment services providers to enter Sudan after the US lifted sanctions on the country following the dethroning of former dictator Omar Al Bashir. The company is working with three banks in the country to launch its payment products.
Three banks in Sudan receive approval to use Visa payment technology
For decades Sudan has been under sanctions, and legitimate financial institutions shunned it over allegations that it hosted terrorists, and Bashir was involved in illicit activities. In 2013 and 2014, BNP Paribas and HSBC Holdings agreed to settle cases regarding sanctions with countries such as Sudan for $10 billion. The US lifted the ban in 2017, and following the dethroning of Bashir last year, the US removed the country from the sanction list.
According to Electronic Banking Services, which runs Sudan’s central bank’s e-payment system, Bank of Khartoum, United Capital Bank, and Qatar National Bank have received a license to work with Visa. EBS general manager Omar Omerabi indicates that the first Visa cards in Sudan could be available within a month and its only minor technical issues that are being addressed currently. Another six banks are lined up for approvals to start using the payment systems.
Visa delighted to offer its services in Sudan
On Monday, a Visa spokesperson said that they were delighted to be creating new partnerships. The spokesperson indicated that this will be an opportunity for the company to bring its payment technology to help in supporting economic growth and financial inclusion in Sudan. However, the spokesperson didn’t offer more details regarding the progress they have made.
The army ousted al-Bashir in April last year following mass protests, and the country has been grappling with rebuilding its shattered economy and reversing its pariah status. The country has suffered decade3s of mismanagement, and it lost most of its oil wealth in 2011 following the secession of South Sudan.
Various western brands have been coming to Sudan in the past year. Some notable brands include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Yum! Brands Inc.