Safaricom’s M-Pesa, Visa offer virtual card for global transactions


NANYUKI, Kenya, June 2 (Reuters) – M-Pesa, the mobile cellphone-dependent African revenue transfer company owned by Kenya’s Safaricom Plc (SCOM.NR), and Visa Inc (V.N) introduced a digital payment card on Thursday in a bid to capture some of the continent’s $40 billion-a-calendar year subscriptions marketplace.

The M-Pesa Worldwide Fork out Visa Virtual card will permit users to securely pay out 100 million overseas merchants like Amazon and Alibaba from their mobile telephones, devoid of the require for credit score playing cards or accounts with processors these kinds of as PayPal.

The digital card is also focused at the rapidly-developing subscriptions marketplaces in Africa for services like Netflix (NFLX.O) and Spotify (Location.N), said M-Pesa Africa Managing Director Sitoyo Lopokoiyit.

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The virtual card is in the beginning out there to a lot more than 30 million M-Pesa customers in Kenya and will be rolled out to Tanzania, where screening is going on, Mozambique, Congo, Lesotho and Ghana by April 2023, Lopokoiyit said.

M-Pesa released 15 decades ago as a basic cash transfer services and now accounts for roughly 50 percent of Safaricom’s income as people use it for buys, price savings, borrowing and insurance coverage. Safaricom is partly owned by South Africa’s Vodacom Group (VODJ.J).

“A great deal of M-Pesa customers nowadays really do not have financial institution accounts… it (the digital card) is a catalyst for e-commerce and electronic payments,” said Visa formal Alex McCrea.

Transactions will be issue to the M-Pesa platform’s limits in the nearby Kenyan forex of 150,000 shillings ($1,285) for a one transaction and a every day limit double that. Consumers will be ready to use the digital card whilst travelling abroad.

Transactions on the virtual card will be secured with a exceptional protection code sent to the user’s cell telephone and the user’s M-Pesa personalized identification selection.

($1 = 116.7500 Kenyan shillings)

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Reporting by Duncan Miriri Editing by David Holmes and Cynthia Osterman

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