The company’s new virtual and plastic debit cards are targeted at Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and upwardly mobile, unbanked consumers across Nigeria, Sparkle said in a press release sent to Arbiterz.
Sparkle was founded with the mission of providing financial, lifestyle, and business support services to Nigerians – retailers, SMEs, and individuals – across the globe. It is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and serves its clients mainly via a mobile platform.
The cards will enable its customers to make in-app purchases as well as pay for e-commerce and m-commerce transactions, it said, bringing them the “convenience, flexibility, safety, and security of cashless payments across various channels.”
The collaboration with Network International, an international payments solutions company and leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa, adds to a long list of partnerships the company has secured since launching in June 2020. Current partners include Visa, Microsoft, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The collaborations are to provide Sparkle with expertise in APIs, cloud computing, data science, machine learning, tax, and financial advisory services for the benefit of its customers.
According to the startup, the latest partnership is based on their shared commitment to further the adoption of digital payments among emerging markets across the MEA region.
“Digital adoption and customer experience are going to be dependent on the people, platform, and partnership,” said Dozie, an advocate of financial inclusion and the former CEO of defunct Diamond Bank.
“In the area of payment processing and data insights, Network International brings that to our platform, and we are truly excited about the future of the partnership and what it means for the enablement and transformational impact for Nigerians anywhere in the world who are connected to the Sparkle platform,” he added.
Partnering with one of the region’s largest payment company offers Sparkle access to Network’s years of experience and expertise in creating card solutions for emerging markets.
Among other things, it will be benefitting from Network’s advanced digital infrastructure and robust security protocols while avoiding the need to invest in expensive card management infrastructure.
“Building on our two decades of experience within payments and deep insight of the African market, we look forward to deploying our trusted platform and best-in-class technology towards supporting digital and financial inclusion of Nigerian consumers and businesses,” said Andrew Key, Managing Director – Africa, Network International.