The M-PESA GlobalPay Virtual Visa card has since gone live following days of teases. The product, which, as its name suggests, is a partnership between Safaricom and VISA, has been long in the works. The two companies started working on it more than two years ago, and we are all glad that it is finally here.
To note, it is a virtual card, meaning you do not need to have a physical card with you.
Access/activation is very easy, and that can be done via your M-PESA app for both Android and iOS devices.
We have since activated and used it for one international payment option: paying for a streaming service (MovieBoxPro), which also works in the same manner as Netflix.
This is quite compelling and attractive because there are people who want to pay for Netflix services via M-PESA, but as we have come to know, Netflix doesn’t natively support that. To this end, the virtual VISA card by GlobalPay comes in handy, and it sure does eliminate some friction that we have come to experience with other forms of payments for Netflix (among other global services that we previously wanted to pay for via a channel that works with M-PESA, but couldn’t).
So, how was the entire experience, and how did we go about it? Did we incur additional charges? Well, here are some answers for you.
Paying for Netflix Mobile
- We first navigated to the ‘renew’ subscription option on the Netflix app.
- Upon clicking on it, it opened a webpage with all accepted payment options, including VISA.
- We then opened our virtual VISA card on the M-PESA app (which we had activated as described in the link above).
- Afterward, we clicked on ‘show card details’, which then displayed the card number, and the CVV code. The CVV code has a validity of thirty minutes.
- We entered the details on the Netflix site.
- The exercise was authenticated using our M-PESA PIN.
- And that was it.
The process is fast, and once the site process the payment; you will be alerted via an M-PESA message.
In our case, the subscription cost was supposed to cost KES 300, which is the same amount that is subtracted when using our bank cards, including those powered by VISA. However, Safaricom charges a Forex Exchange markup of 3.5% on the prevailing forex rate to exchange from billing currency (KES) to the currency at the time of purchase i.e. (USD, GBP, etc.).
This markup is the usual foreign exchange difference, and Safaricom says that it is cheaper than most banks. What you see on the cost calculator is what you get, as this is the rate inclusive of the markup.
So, our final payment was KES 310.50
Netflix’s most expensive plan costs KES 1450, so you should calculate and see how much extra you might pay when using this card (we are working on this and will update you accordingly).
Finally, the M-PESA app allows you to suspend or unsuspend the virtual card.
You can as well choose to cancel it or opt out of the service altogether if you have other payment channels.
In case of a dispute, you can raise it as follows:
- Log in to your M-PESA APP
- Select Pay tab
- Select M-PESA GlobalPay
- Or for the Grow Tab select M-PESA GlobalPay
- Select the 3 dots just above your card.
- Select Raise a Dispute option and fill in the required details. Once submitted, you will be contacted by a customer support agent within 24 hours to commence the dispute resolution process.
Global Payments: Google Many people have been asking, can the virtual VISA card be used for making Google One payments, mainly to buy storage for their Google accounts?
The answer is yes, and it works quite well, and fast similar to other card payment methods.
We have since tried it, and while others have reported issues with the method, we did not experience the same on our side.
Play Store purchases should work as well, but Safaricom already has M-PESA Xpress that works just fine and has fewer steps during set-up. M-PESA Xpress is under Safaricom’s Lipa Na M-PESA Online, which was launched a decade ago.
Limits: The same M-PESA limits apply to the card. This means that the minimum amount you can transact is KES 110, whereas the maximum is KES 150K.
Note, if you have to buy an item that costs more than KES 150K, you will need to use some other means because the virtual card will not allow you to complete the purchase. Reportedly, there are merchants that allow customers to make two bulk payments before checking out, but we do not know them specifically, and to be on the safe side, you should just make purchases that fall under the said limit.
Your daily transactions are capped at KES 300K.
Changing CVV for repeat payments: How do repeat payments happen if CVV codes expire after 30 minutes? Well, merchants can store CVV information securely, meaning you will not be asked to enter the code the next time a payment is due.
The changing CVV prevents anyone who has your card details from using your card because they may have to generate another CVV.
Additional details about repeat payments are stated below…
Repeat Payments: Netflix is renewed every 30 days, so it makes sense if you enable repeat payments for it. This means that the card will prompt you to pay for the service once the expiry date arrives. So, how can you do that? Well, here is how to:
Log in to your M-PESA APP.
• Select Pay tab
• Select M-PESA GlobalPay
•Or for the Grow Tab select M-PESA GlobalPay
• Select Enable Repeat Payments (just beneath your GlobalPay card).
• Select enable.
• Enter M-PESA PIN.
• You will receive a notification confirming successful enablement of Repeat Payments.
Additional M-PESA Virtual Visa Card Availability: 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.