IMPACT Awards 2022

Impact project/investment of the year - financial Services: LeapFrog/Tana Africa Capital's investment in Interswitch

LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital have been recognised for their investment in Interswitch, an African fintech company.

The pair's undisclosed investment in May has supported Interswitch's plans to expand digital payments ecosystems across sub-Saharan Africa.

Founded in 2002, Interswitch provides financial services for Nigeria's unbanked and underbanked customers. It is targeting further financial inclusion for sub-Saharan Africa's one billion emerging consumers.

It operates two flagship brands: Verve, a debit card scheme operating across Africa and Quickteller, a multichannel consumer and business payments platform.

Impact investor Leapfrog recently told Environmental Finance it looks to make further investments under the themes of 'financial inclusion' and 'health & wellbeing' by investing in companies that either provide financing to enable access to smartphones or companies that provide mobile financial services.

Leapfrog said the devices are critical to delivering emerging market 'wealth and health' products, such as microfinance and health screening.

Karima Ola, a partner at Leapfrog, commented: "In this age of innovative fintech, we're extremely proud that Interswitch has been recognised. It is hard to overstate just how impactful digital banking, and a company like Interswitch, has been in a country like Nigeria.

"In the last few years, Interswitch has launched a national card scheme – Verve – in the local currency. This has allowed rural and low-income people to have access to pre-paid or debit cards.

"Interswitch has also facilitated the possibility for consumers to buy health insurance and other insurance products and pay their premiums in installments. This suits lower income or emerging customers, who tend to be on the receiving end of more unpredictable cash flows."