Safaricom launches M-Pesa virtual virtual card for international payments

NANYUKI, Kenya June 3 – Mpesa, the mobile money transfer service owned by Safaricom, has launched an Mpesa virtual Visa card that enables its users to make global payments online.

This launch follows a collaboration between the two companies planning in 2020 which aimed to allow 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 cashless, seamless, more inclusive and above all secure payments.

Customers can activate the card through 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 at an event held at Ole Pejeta Conservancy in Nanyuki, Vice President and Managing Director of Visa for East Africa, Corine Mbiaketcha, said she was committed to expanding the payment environment in Africa, the partnership with Safaricom being a reality.

“Safaricom has changed the way money moves in Kenya. We are excited to work together to create new and innovative payment products and services that will help merchants and customers across Africa overcome barriers to global trade” , said Corine.

Visa, the global payment leader, aims to enable consumers to transact remotely around the world.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary in charge of tourism appreciated the innovation of the virtual card which has imposed itself in the hotel, accommodation, catering and beverage sector to open up and have more business, especially with the Covid 19 which has taught us to use cashless payments

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“Tourism is an important sector, it contributes 10% of GDP and 9% of employment and now we want to partner with the private sector to grow and grow and global payment has made this effective”, a- he declared.

“Over the past fifteen years, M-PESA has 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 many 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 want to use M-PESA anywhere in the world,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.

Virtual Visa card only maps your mpesa balance, it does not store money. It also has the same rules or limitations as your M-Pesa account. Thus, the maximum amount per transaction is KES 150,000 and the maximum amount per day is KES 300,000.

“Visa is committed to expanding the payments ecosystem across Africa by opening the global marketplace to every consumer. This partnership with Safaricom is an important step to help achieve this goal,” said Mbiaketcha.

Safaricom’s other global partnerships include with PayPal, AliExpress and Western Union, which allow customers to receive and send money globally.

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