Safaricom and Visa launched ‘M-PESA GlobalPay’ virtual card that enables customers to use M-PESA to shop at more than 100 million merchants across 200 countries.
For decades, Africa has been shut out of the global economy because of its fragmented payment infrastructure. Not only have businesses looking to capture a share of Africa’s growing market had to engage various payment providers, but African customers are also restricted from shopping outside the continent.
As part of the startups trying to respond to this need, Safaricom and Visa have launched a new virtual card, “M-PESA GlobalPay.” The virtual card allows customers in Kenya to shop at more than 100 million merchants across 200 countries on Visa’s global network using their mobile money accounts.
This will open e-commerce opportunities for M-PESA customers and make it easier for Kenyans when travelling abroad.
M-PESA is widely recognised as Africa’s leading fintech platform. Since its launch in 2007, it has grown to serve more than 51 million customers across seven countries, offering a variety of digital financial services including peer-to-peer money transfers, cashless and utility bill payments, micro-loans, and savings.
Customers can access the new Visa card through the M-PESA telephone service or via the smartphone app. The card enables customers to generate a unique card verification value (CVV) – the security code on payment cards – which can be used to confirm transactions with merchants online or when travelling abroad. For added security, each unique CVV generated lasts for just 30 minutes and is only accessible once a customer has inputted their M-PESA PIN.
The growth of online shopping in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to continue as smartphone adoption and access to digital services improve, with leading markets such as South Africa and Kenya becoming increasingly mature.
Speaking on the product launch, Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom said: “M-PESA has, over the past 15 years, evolved from simple money transfer to become a robust payments platform and driver of financial inclusion for Kenyans. This has paved the way for numerous innovative services. By partnering with Visa to provide the M-PESA GlobalPay virtual card, we are looking to bridge the gap for our customers who would like to use M-PESA anywhere across the world.”
In addition, Corine Mbiaketcha, The Vice President and General Manager for East Africa, Visa said: “Safaricom has already transformed how money moves in Kenya, and we are excited to be working together to develop new and innovative payments products and services that can eliminate barriers to global commerce for merchants and consumers in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Since its launch in 2007, M-Pesa has built a dominant base at home in Kenya and a strong presence across 7 other African countries. Reaching over 51 million users in the process.