Mitchell Elegbe – NIGERIA’S ICT TOP10

Group Managing Director, Interswitch Limited

Mitchell Elegbe is group managing director, InterSwitch Limited, a transaction switching and electronic payments processing company he founded in 2002. The company builds and manages payment infrastructures as well as delivers innovative payment products and transactional services throughout the African continent. He has led the company to become the leading payments and transaction switching business with a focus on Africa.

The company has established firm hold as an Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce outfit that facilitates the electronic circulation of money as well as the exchange of values between individuals and organisations on a timely and consistent basis. InterSwitch is the owner of Verve, Nigeria’s mostly used payment card, accounting for 18 million of the 25 million cards in circulation in the country.

Elegbe has successfully led his company to establish a strong competence in providing secure and continuously available information technology/infrastructure solutions and services. This has helped customers reduce cost, increase revenue, improve security, expand product offerings and improve service levels on technology.
InterSwitch provides information technology solutions across a variety of payment channels, including point of sale terminals and ATMs. It has direct connections with leading banks in Nigeria and other international payment platforms, making it the leading e-payment solutions provider. This has enabled customers of financial institutions on the switch have secure, continuous access to all the ATMs on the company’s network irrespective of ownership and location.

Its service offerings includes direct driving and monitoring of transactions, transaction routing and switching, remote key development, management information and reporting and value-added services such as bill payments, funds transfers, virtual top-up.

Elegbe with his management team, has brought a lot of innovation and expertise in ICT that has worked to transform financial services delivery and Nigeria’s payments system. InterSwitch has demonstrated its expertise in building and managing agent transaction switching and payment processing network that is dependable. It develops and deploys payment products and services that drive performance.

By partnering with leading organisations such as Stratus, Cisco, Thales and Gemalto, InterSwitch has developed specialised security solutions that help organisations achieve reliability and resilience tailored to meet the needs of their operating environment. The company’s Chip and PIN card, branded as InterSwitch Verve, are acclaimed to be difficult to duplicate and alter and therefore offers improved security and reduces fraud.

InterSwitch uses a ‘switching’ infrastructure to connect the different banks in Nigeria and provides the technology for ATM cards. The seamless interconnection of its platform with banks has created a lot of possibilities in Nigeria’s business and financial space. The company has deployed over 7,300 ATM machines nationwide, making cash withdrawals and other ATM services convenient and easily accessible to Nigerians.

Other services such as funds transfer from one account to another within a bank or between banks are also available from InterSwitch ATM machines. Cardholders can buy mobile phone recharge cards from the ATM machines as well as check bank account balances. InterSwitch’s ATM supports other major electronic payment networks like Visa and MasterCard.

The company has also deployed over 11,000 point of sale terminals in Nigeria for secure payments using debit cards. It also supports secure online payments empowering cardholders to make purchases on the internet. This has created new possibilities in the business of merchants and academic institutions through InterSwitch’s dependable support for debit cards.

Elegbe is yet discovering and creating new possibilities for business and industry in Nigeria. His company owns an online payments platform – Quickteller. It offers a mobile business management platform – Retailpay. It has also developed an identity management and e-payment infrastructure for state governments labeled Smartgov.

The company is also adding new possibilities to mobile banking with a view to improving further the service quality of financial services in Nigeria. InterSwitch has recently acquired VANSO, a mobile-focused technology provider to banks. The acquisition will result in VANSO’s mobile banking, SMS and security business lines being fully integrated into InterSwitch’s digital commerce and technology operations in Nigeria, and across Africa.

Elegbe has built a financial inclusion services subsidiary that is positioned to serve as the interconnect point and infrastructure for integrating and delivering electronic payment services to the unbanked, under-banked and the banked. It is designed to help financial service providers, merchants, billers, and other organizations to increase efficiency and outreach through the company’s network of human service interfaces for secure financial transactions nationwide.

Elebge takes much credit for building at InterSwitch a highly secure, reliable and scalable platform for electronic transaction processing in a multi-institutional, multi-functional, online/offline environment.

InterSwitch is reputed for its capacity to design, implement and support payment infrastructures that deliver the highest level of availability and transaction integrity. Its systems accept transactions from a diverse range of delivery payment channels, intelligently switching them to a variety of external networks.