Visa is bringing its QR-code based mobile payment system to Nigeria this year.

The payments giant has been in "advanced discussions" with Nigerian banks about launching mVisa to consumers before the end of the year, it said in an Aug. 16 news release.

“We’re excited by the prospects of mVisa for Nigeria as a mobile payment solution which brings real benefits to drive digital transformation,” Ade Ashaye, group country manager for Visa West Africa, said in the release. “Because mVisa allows merchants to accept Visa payments without having to invest in costly point of sale hardware, it gives Nigerian consumers a reliable, secure and convenient mobile payment option.”

The companylaunched the mobile payments service in India a year ago. Consumers can make purchases with mVisa by scanning a QR code if they use a smart phone, or by entering a merchant ID number into a basic handset. The payment moves securely from the consumer’s Visa account into the merchant account and provides real-time notifications to both parties. Consumers and merchants don't need to be customers of the same bank.

Consumers can also use mVisa agents to send domestic remittances or access their cash if there is no ATM network.

Visa said the offering could help bring Nigerian merchants into the formal financial system. Currently, there are 150 million active phones in Nigeria and 60% of the country's economic activity is cash-based and often unreported. It also said it advances its 2015 commitment to the World Bank to bring "the benefits of Visa and electronic payments to 500 million more people globally by the end of 2020."

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