FinTech: Visa and African Mobile Payment Processor M-Pesa Launch Virtual Payment Card

June 3, 2022 | FinTech, News

M-Pesa is owned by Kenya’s Safaricom Plc, which in turn is partly owned by South Africa’s Vodacom Group.

African mobile-phone based payment service M-Pesa and Visa (NYSE: V) announced on Thursday their launch of a virtual card that can be used to pay for shopping at 100 million foreign merchants including Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alibaba (NYSE: BABA). The virtual card can also be used to pay for subscriptions such as Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Spotify (NYSE: SPOT). (Reuters)

M-Pesa Africa Managing Director Sitoyo Lopokoiyit said the card is available to over 30 million M-Pesa users in Kenya.

However, after testing, the virtual card will also roll out in Tanzania, Mozambique, Congo, Lesotho, and Ghana by April 2023.

Transactions on the virtual card will be subject to daily limit of 150,000 Kenyan shillings for a single transaction. The daily limit is twice that amount.

To effect a transaction on the virtual card a user will need to apply a unique security code sent to the user’s mobile phone and the user’s M-Pesa personal identification number.

Financial inclusion

According to Visa official Alex McCrea, the visa card could serve to catalyze e-commerce and digital payments given that a large number of M-Pesa customers still do not have bank accounts.

M-Pesa itself was launched as a simple money transfer service over 15 years ago. Over the years it has become indispensable for African consumers for purchases, savings, loans, and insurance.

Related Story: MFS Africa Raises $100M To Make Payments As Easy As Calls

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