Tourism to Africa has continued to increase at a steady pace since 2014. Notwithstanding recent geopolitical events and fluctuating international exchange rates, the general consensus is that tourism will provide significant growth to the economies of a number of African countries over the next decade and that the pinnacle of this burgeoning sector has not yet been reached.
Thinking of travelling to Africa, you might be familiar with images of diving in the Red Sea in Egypt, spotting the white rhino in Kruger National Park, South Africa or visiting the Masai Mara in Kenya. At a local level, each country promotes their own, individual tourism agenda with a view to increasing the overall attractiveness of the continent.
Critical to catering for these international visitors is offering transparent and convenient payment options. Irish based Financial Technology Company, FEXCO, is strategically positioned to capitalise on the growing tourism sector with dedicated on the ground operations across the continent. FEXCO’s Africa operations are supported by best in class IT and treasury management solutions driven from its headquarters in the South West of Ireland and supported by the MEASA hub based in Dubai, UAE.
FEXCO currently provides its DCC and MCP payment solutions to a number of the top-tier banks in Africa and 2017 is promising to be another successful year for the company. Over the next 6 months FEXCO will go live with 3 new banking partners in 7 new markets across the continent.
Pioneered by FEXCO, Dynamic Currency Conversion or DCC allows international cardholders, for example visitors to Africa, to make local payments in their home currency enabling them to better determine value on a transaction in a currency they are familiar with. Similarly, FEXCO’s MCP or Multi-Currency Pricing tool is an e-commerce payment solution that allows customers to browse and pay in their preferred currency.
Statistically, South Africa and Egypt continue to draw the most spend from leisure travellers. Leveraging this trend, FEXCO is currently the premier provider of DCC in Egypt where we partner with several of the country’s acquiring banks. DCC in Egypt offers added value and transparency for international visitors, something that has become increasingly important in a recovering market where merchants need to rebuild the confidence of their customers following socio-economic challenges as well as the recent devaluation of the Egyptian Pound.
Widely tipped as one of the top tourist destinations for 2017 and dubbed by the World Economic Forum as Sub-Saharan Africa’s ‘most tourism ready economy’ South Africa remains another key target for growth for FEXCO. The variety of leisure and active pursuits combined with the weakened ZAR has propelled the country into one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. Having identified this trend FEXCO has in place a market-ready DCC/MCP solution which can be deployed by merchants in key tourist destinations throughout the country ultimately helping them to improve the overall international customer experience.
Also in the top 10 list of spend from leisure travellers is Morocco, a country that has welcomed FEXCO’s DCC@ATM solution, a service whereby international cardholders can withdraw the local currency from the ATM with full visibility of the cost in their home currency at the time of the transaction.
When comparing revenue generated by business travellers to that of the leisure tourist, Nigeria enters the list with the third highest average spend. Focusing on the business travel sector, FEXCO has rolled out its DCC@ATM solution across the country providing additional comfort and transparency for business travellers accessing cash while abroad.
This year FEXCO celebrates 4 years of successful business partnerships in Africa providing a full suite of international payment solutions to both banks and merchants. FEXCO continues to invest heavily in the development of our DCC product including funding, training and mentoring dedicated support teams on the ground.
We do this with a strong belief in the continued success and further expansion of the tourism economy. FEXCO is currently in pilot phase in Kenya, this will be followed by Mauritius, Ghana and Zambia with a view to expanding our services to new channels including mobile payments.