Safaricom and Visa have jointly announced a partnership that seeks to develop products that will support digital payments for MPESA customers.
“We are delighted to partner with Visa in exploring products that will support both our customers and Lipa Na MPESA merchants,” Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom’s CEO said.
MPESA is already a huge network in its own right. It has 24.91 million customers as of Safaricom’s latest results and it generated a cool Kshs 84.44 billion last year. It also has over 173,000 agents countrywide which is the largest mobile money network in the country.
This partnership will cover MPESA’s network as well as the 61 million merchant networks on VISA’s global network. There are over 3.4 billion Visa cards in more than 200 countries.
“Visa is committed in creating new and improved payment experiences for consumers and businesses everywhere, helping drive progress and unlocked incredible new opportunities for all,” Andrew Torre, President of Visa Central Europe, Middle East and Africa said. “Safaricom and MPESA have already transformed millions of everyday lives throughout Africa and put Kenya on the map as a global leader in mobile money. We are thrilled to work together on the next stage of their journey, bringing safe and convenient financial services to all.”
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Central Bank of Kenya allowed Safaricom and other telcos to up their mobile money wallet limits and drop charges on transactions below Kshs 1000. The Central Bank also directed banks to stop charging the transfer of money from their accounts to mobile money wallets like MPESA, in a move to enable the increased use of cashless transactions during this period.
This is an exciting partnership since MPESA and Visa are recognized brands in the country and the partnership can yield interesting products. I’ve always wished for a proper MPESA Visa card for example which will allow me to purchase subscriptions or buy stuff online that is deducted straight from my MPESA. I hope we get to see such products with such a partnership.
An MPESA VISA card would slap so hard
— 𝑘𝑖𝑟𝑢𝑡𝑖 (@kiruti) April 8, 2020