Leading Central Asia fintech, Alif Bank, to issue Visa cards
Alif Bank has accomplished the first stage of its partnership with Visa with the issuing of debit and premium Visa cards for Tajikistani residents. Tajikistani fintech will be using the Visa payment network to roll out its suite of financial products and services over the coming years.
In July 2020, Alif Bank announced a new partnership with Visa, global leader in payment technologies. With Visa network, products and expertise, Alif Bank will be able to facilitate payments and financial transactions, providing safe and secure digital payments. Bank’s customers will also have access to virtual and physical cards.
According to the partnership agreement between Alif Bank and Visa, companies are planning to jointly develop innovative, secure, and user-oriented payment solutions based on progressive technologies and products of Visa. In addition, Visa and Alif Bank are planning joint marketing initiatives to raise awareness among Tajik residents of the benefits of cashless payments and expand access to innovative payment solutions for consumers.
Alif’s partnership with Visa is the latest in a series of recent announcements delivered as part of its growth strategy. In August, the company announced plans to expand into the UK to grow its investor network and lead new business developments in Europe and Central Asia. As a result of its cooperation with Visa, Alif has completed the project implementation and testing of payments. Early September, Alif announced a pre-order for the issuance of Visa Gold, Visa Platinum and Visa Infinite cards for everyone and began active delivery of cards in the operating cities in Tajikistan.
Cards are available for all Alif’s customers, with a special benefit when premium cards will be offered to clients for free. Customers are able to place an order for cards through the mobile app and Alif Bank’s website. It will deliver the issued cards to the customers in Dushanbe, the capital of the Republic of Tajikistan and Khujand city.
The issuance of the premium cards emphasizes the commitment of Alif Bank and Visa to provide the most convenient, profitable and functional products, which should contribute to the qualitative growth of cashless payments in Tajikistan.
Founded in 2014 by Abdullo Kurbanov, Zuhursho Rahmatulloev and Firdavs Mirzoev, Alif Bank is one of Central Asia’s leading fintech companies. With a full banking license in Tajikistan and a payments license in Uzbekistan, Alif now has over 800,000 users and a team of 800 professionals. Its services include alif mobi (Tajikistan’s most widely used mobile wallet), Alif Salom and Alif A’zo (buy now, pay later system) and alif.shop (Tajikistan’s largest online marketplace).
Alif recently received a company valuation of over $100m, raising $8m in equity and $50 million in debt. The total investment was raised from its existing shareholder Jefferson Capital Holdings Limited – a UK-based investment vehicle founded by Khofiz Shakhidi, who is also Chairman of Alif Bank.
Alif’s products are developed with Shariah compliance in view, while adaptation of the Islamic finance principles to local regulations may vary across different jurisdictions.
The co-founders of Alif commented that: “We are pleased to be working alongside Visa to help democratize finance in Central Asia. The partnership comes at an ideal time for Alif — we are proud to say the company has been growing at a phenomenal rate in the past 12 months, through the dedication and hard work of our team”.
Our partnership with Visa means our customers have access to world-class technology that will empower them to take control of their finances. We all look forward to seeing what new opportunities this partnership will bring for both Visa and Alif in the coming years.”
Yevgen Lisnyak, senior director and head of strategic partnerships, fintech & ventures, Visa, CISSEE, added: “At Visa we welcome the appearance of such technological, motivated and disruptive players in banking services as Alif Bank. Combining Visa’s global expertise in payment solutions with Alif Bank knowledge of the local environment we can bring a real value and completely new digital banking experience to the consumers. We’re excited to support Alif Bank in their ambitions to digitize payments in the country.”