Cashless payments continue to grow in popularity driven by increased globalization and digitization. This further creates a demand for more innovative services. In that light, Visa and Safaricom (through M-Pesa) are seeking to eliminate barriers to global commerce – maybe through a payments card.
Thus, the companies announced a partnership that will enable the development of products that will support digital payments for M-PESA customers. But what does this mean for users?
M-Pesa Visa Card?
Well, unconfirmed reports state that the mobile phone-based M-Pesa will serve as a virtual card. This move could possibly allow users to make payments abroad when they travel. It could also let them transfer cash from their Visa-linked debit cards to their M-Pesa wallets even when they are abroad.
“We are delighted to partner with Visa in exploring products that will support our customers and Lipa Na M-PESA merchants. This partnership will play an important role in delivering even more value to our customers. It will link them to even more opportunities especially in global e-commerce,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.”
The partnership will cover:
- 24 million M-PESA customers
- 173,000 Lipa Na M-PESA merchants from Safaricom
- 61 million merchant locations throughout Visa’s global network
- Over 3.4 billion Visa cards in more than 200 countries and territories, subject to regulatory approval.
The companies plan to offer an expanded set of mobile e-commerce capabilities to merchants and consumers. They will do this by enabling secure and convenient cashless payment solutions.
“Visa is committed to creating new and improved payment experiences for consumers and businesses everywhere. We aim to help drive progress and unlock incredible new opportunities for all.” We are looking forward to working together on the next stage of their journey, bringing safe, and convenient financial services to all. said Andrew Torre, President of Visa Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA).
Corine Mbiaketcha, Vice President and General Manager for Visa in East Africa also had this to say.
We envision that our combined efforts in enabling seamless and interoperable financial services and products will drive much desired financial inclusion in our communities.
Previous attempts to integrate it with the global payments system include a 2018 deal with Western Union. This allows M-Pesa users to send money around the world.