Interswitch became a category-king by creating a new basis of competition in the Nigerian financial sector. It went beyond the immediate needs and expectations of customers to their perceptions. As that happened, it seeded leverageable factors, and in the process unlocked values for citizens and firms in the digital payment sector. A pioneer and an industry leader, Interswitch became a new modern architecture for the Nigerian economy. While they are competitors today, Nigeria runs on Interswitch, and is arguably one of the most important companies in the nation.
Interswitch is an Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce company that facilitates the electronic circulation of money as well as the exchange of value between individuals and organisations on a timely and consistent basis.
The company started operations in 2002 as a transaction switching and electronic payments processing company that builds and manages payment infrastructure as well as deliver innovative payment products and transactional services throughout the African continent.
In a new case, Tekedia Institute with Maro Elias, looks at what we can learn from this company. What was the motivation that in the “early 2000s, Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch Founder, had a moment. He had been trying to use an ATM machine in Scotland to withdraw funds when the machine seized his card. Although it was a moment of despair, it was also a light bulb moment for him. That moment crystallized a vision to build an electronic payment system in Nigeria, and in the process gave Nigeria its first indigenous unicorn.”
The case will be available from Feb 8 when Tekedia Mini-MBA edition 4 begins. We are introducing cases in our program to make it more empirical with deeper analytical rigours.