M-Pesa and Visa launched a virtual payment card on Thursday in a bid to capture some of the continent’s $40 billion-a-year subscriptions market.
The M-Pesa Global Pay Visa Virtual card will allow users to securely pay 100 million foreign merchants like Amazon and Alibaba from their mobile phones, without the need for credit cards or accounts with processors such as PayPal.
The virtual card is also targeted at the fast-growing subscriptions markets in Africa for services like Netflix and Spotify, said M-Pesa Africa Managing Director Sitoyo Lopokoiyit.
The virtual card is initially available to more than 30 million M-Pesa users in Kenya and will be rolled out to Tanzania, where testing is going on, Mozambique, Congo, Lesotho and Ghana by April 2023, Lopokoiyit said.
This launch follows a collaboration between the two companies planner in 2020 that aimed to enable Mpesa users to make payments on e-commerce sites like Amazon, send money internationally, and make cross-border payments. Two years later the product is finally here and accessible to millions of Kenyans.
The card will enable millions of users to make payments that are cashless, seamless, more inclusive and most especially secure.
Customers can activate the card via the M-PESA App by selecting M-PESA GlobalPay, under the “Pay” or “Grow” option.
They can also activate it by dialing *334# then selecting option 6 for “Lipa Na M-PESA” followed by “M-PESA GlobalPay”.
Speaking during an event held at Ole Pejeta Conservancy in Nanyuki, the Visa Vice President and General Manager for East Africa, Corine Mbiaketcha said they are committed to expanding the payment environment in Africa with the partnership with Safaricom being a reality of it.
“Safaricom has changed how money moves in Kenya. We are thrilled to be working together to build new and innovative payments products and services that will help merchants and customers in across Africa overcome barriers in global trade,” said Corine.
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