Africa-focused financial services group Atlas Mara signed a partnership deal with Visa to launch mobile payment system mVisa into several countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

London-listed Atlas Mara holds interests or controlling stakes in banks across the region – including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Rwanda and Nigeria – all of which will have access to Visa’s mobile payment facility and money transfer service Visa Direct.

The company aims to deliver modern banking services to countries in sub-Saharan Africa which are under-served by traditional financial institutions by acquiring existing banks, developing their infrastructure and introducing new services and facilities.

Chidi Okpala, Chief Digital Officer of Atlas Mara said: “Delivering innovative services to accelerate financial inclusion and more efficiently service our customers is one of our core strategies. Through our partnership with Visa, Atlas Mara will be able to offer a suite of digital and mobile payment solutions for the everyday payments needs of our expanding customer base across Africa”.

mVisa is the company’s mobile payment service aimed at developing markets. Announced in 2015, it was first made available in India and since launched in several markets around the world including Nigeria and Kenya through the company’s banking partners.