Visa is partnering with Thunes to help individuals and small businesses move money internationally to 78 digital wallet providers, reaching 1.5 billion digital wallets across 44 countries and territories. This partnership will now expand Visa Direct’s reach to nearly 7 billion endpoints, including more than 3 billion cards, over 2 billion accounts and 1.5 billion digital wallets.
For the unbanked individuals in emerging markets, digital wallets are gaining traction as an empowering first entry point to the financial system. Consumers are not required to have a card or account to load or receive funds directly to their digital wallet, opening the potential for greater financial inclusion and enabling underserved populations opportunities to access financial products that meaningfully impact how they live and work.
“From an agricultural worker in Bangladesh to a young professional in London who is looking to send money to family overseas, Visa strives to create more ways for individuals and SMBs to participate in the global economy,” said Ruben Salazar Genovez, Global Head of Visa Direct. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Thunes and help enable quick and simple access to the financial system to more customers around the world who may use digital wallets as their primary financial instrument.”
Through this collaboration, Thunes’ B2B payments platform will connect to Visa Direct, adding a cross-border send-to-wallet capability to 78 digital wallet providers that are already integrated with Thunes. Through a simple integration of Visa Direct, financial institutions, governments, neobanks and money transfer operators will be able to utilize the new functionality to enable consumers and small businesses to send funds to markets across Africa, Asia, and Latin America where wallets may be the go-to payment method.
“We are thrilled that of all the payment companies, Visa, the global leader in payments, is working with Thunes on this launch.” said Peter De Caluwe, CEO of Thunes. “Through the combined power of Visa’s scale and Thunes’ payment infrastructure, this collaboration has the potential to help develop a new global era for inclusive and accessible global payments.”
With the addition of 1.5 billion digital wallets to its reach, Visa Direct now helps provide access to nearly 7 billion cards, accounts and digital wallets combined, across more than 190 geographies, supporting 160 currencies, connecting to 16 card-based networks, 66 domestic Automated Clearing House (ACH) schemes, 11 Real-Time Payment (RTP) networks and five payment gateways.