Safaricom and Visa, the global leader in digital payments, Thursday introduced the first M-PESA GlobalPay Visa Virtual card to open global shopping for Kenyan consumers.
The launch of the new M-PESA Visa virtual card will allow secure cashless payments at merchant locations in over 200 countries through Visa’s global network.
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa said the card will be exclusive for international, online payments outside the country to protect customers from incurring forex conversion costs on local online payments billed in Kenya Shillings.
“M-PESA has over the past fifteen years evolved from a simple money transfer service to become a robust payment platform and driver of financial inclusion for Kenyans. This has paved the way for numerous innovative services and by partnering with Visa to provide the M-PESA GlobalPay Visa virtual card, we are looking to bridge the gap for our customers who would like to use M-PESA anywhere across the world,” said Ndegwa.
According to the telco firm, once a customer performs a transaction with the card, they will receive an SMS with the prevailing exchange rate for the transaction value.
Transactions will be subject to current M-PESA limits of Ksh.150,000 per transaction and Ksh.300,000 per day at the prevailing Forex rates.
Corine Mbiaketcha, Vice President and General Manager for East Africa at Visa acknowledged their partnership with Safaricom to develop new and innovative payment products and services that can eliminate barriers to global commerce for merchants and consumers in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Visa is committed to expanding the payments ecosystem across Africa by opening up the global marketplace for every single consumer. This partnership with Safaricom is an important step in helping to achieve this.”
The card will enable subscribers to pay for services such as Netflix and Amazon.
“The strategy is to open up e-commerce and opportunities for Kenyans to buy products and services online, whether it’s Amazon, Netflix and so on and so forth. So, it makes it much easier to do that,” said Safaricom’s Director of Financial Services Sitoyo Lopokoiyit.
The M-PESA GlobalPay Visa Virtual Card will gradually be available across other M-PESA markets through the M-PESA Super App under a strategic partnership between M-PESA Africa and Visa. These include Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Lesotho and Ghana.
With the M-PESA GlobalPay Visa Virtual card, 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 dialling *334# then selecting option 6 for “Lipa Na M-PESA” followed by “M-PESA GlobalPay”. Both options will require the customer to use their secret M-PESA PIN. The customer can then view their card details and generate the “CVV” required to confirm online card transactions, manage their cards, set up repeat payments and access their Mini-Statement.