Africa ICT Industry

Absa ARO Moves to Fiserv for Card Management and Processing Across Nine African Nations

Brookfield, Wis., and Johannesburg, August 4, 2020 – Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology, today announced that Absa Regional Operations (ARO) has moved to Fiserv to support credit card management and processing in nine African nations.

What started as a program to enable Absa to separate its card platform from Barclays PLC has resulted in ARO taking bold steps to remodel its business for increased agility and growth as it serves customers in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

“Fiserv provided us with a flexible and scalable solution that meets local requirements across Africa, enabling us to achieve separation from Barclays PLC within our agreed timeline while preparing to support growing card usage in the region,” said Vimal Kumar, Chief Executive for Retail and Business Banking, ARO. “The collaborative effort of our teams exceeded our expectations, and I look forward to our continued partnership. I am confident that our platform choice will enable us to fast track the digitalisation of our credit card business, which is key to building our customer franchise.”

Absa is utilizing FirstVision™, a managed services solution that enables global processing economies of scale with integrated capabilities, such as risk management and loyalty programs, that span the card issuing lifecycle. The solution’s service-oriented architecture and open APIs facilitate rapid application development, enabling new capabilities to be brought to market more quickly.

“We wanted a technology partner that was committed to the success of the African continent. Our values at Absa demand customer centricity, and technology platforms are critical for us to achieve this goal. We are confident that the card issuing platform provided by Fiserv will enable us to provide cost effective and innovative products to our customers,” said Manoj Puri, Chief Information Officer, ARO.

This timely implementation of FirstVision was achieved using a virtual team model based on proven Fiserv conversion methodologies, as the ongoing pandemic required remote operations.

Vanessa Olver, Chief Enablement Officer, ARO, explained that, “This was a formidable accomplishment as we needed to work collaboratively across diverse geographies in a virtual mode. Our teams proved adaptable, agile and resilient. I’m proud of the partnership we enjoy with Fiserv and look forward to meeting and exceeding our ambitious goals in the region.”

The software as a service (SaaS) model of FirstVision aligns to the Absa strategy to reduce dependency on customized solutions, resulting in less operational risk as well as:
Reduced operating costs with “pay as you use” pricing
Access to a world-class development roadmap, so new services such as Google Pay can be simply “turned on”, rather than bespoke developed
Increased automation, flexibility, and granularity of products and parameters, which can facilitate faster product and feature launches and enable targeted promotions
Access to sophisticated tools including the Falcon fraud detection system
Alignment to regulatory changes.

“We are looking for opportunities for greater digital innovation, entrenching remote working models, touchless payments and digital wallet solutions and digital servicing, which address emerging client needs,” explained Paul O’Flaherty, Chief Executive of Engineering Services at Absa. “Absa is at the forefront of this digital transformation.”

“Absa have a passion for Africa and a commitment to digitising their business for customer success. We are proud to be their partner and to leverage our experience gained from supporting nearly 100 million cardholders across EMEA to enable their ongoing transformation,” said Nicky Sheridan, Managing Director of Fiserv in Africa.