Absa Regional Operations (ARO) has moved to Fiserv to support credit card management and processing in nine African nations.

The move is part of ARO’s plan to separate its card platform from Barclays and remodel its business for increased agility and growth. It currently serves customers in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Vimal Kumar, Chief Executive for Retail and Business Banking at ARO, said: “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.

“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.”

FirstVision 

Through the partnership, Absa has utilised FirstVision to access capabilities such as risk management and loyalty programmes.

The implementation of FirstVision was achieved using a virtual team model, as Covid-19 required remote working.

Manoj Puri, Chief Information Officer at ARO, said: “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.”

Digitisation 

According to the two companies, FirstVision will enable ARO to:

  • Reduce operating costs with “pay as you use” pricing
  • Access a development roadmap, so new services such as Google Pay can be simply “turned on”, rather than bespoke developed
  • Increase  automation, flexibility, and granularity of products and parameters, which can facilitate faster product and feature launches and enable targeted promotions
  • Access sophisticated tools including the Falcon fraud detection system
  • Align to regulatory changes.

ARO hopes the move will help the company to undergo digital innovation to address emerging client needs. For instance, it plans to expand its digital footprint through touchless payments and digital wallet solutions.

Nicky Sheridan, Managing Director of Fiserv in Africa, said: “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.”