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Safaricom’s M-Pesa, Visa offer virtual card for global transactions

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A pedestrian sporting a protecting face masks passes a Safaricom Plc retailer in central Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, Might 11, 2021. Income from M-Pesa, Safaricom’s mobile-money service, is predicted to develop after extra clients have adopted cashless transactions in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Photographer: Patrick Meinhardt/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs

NANYUKI, Kenya, June 2 (Reuters) – M-Pesa, the cell phone-based African cash switch service owned by Kenya’s Safaricom Plc SCOM.NR, and Visa Inc V.N launched a digital fee card on Thursday in a bid to seize a few of the continent’s $40 billion-a-year subscriptions market.

The M-Pesa International Pay Visa Digital card will permit customers to securely pay 100 million international retailers like Amazon and Alibaba from their cellphones, with out the necessity for bank cards or accounts with processors resembling PayPal.

The digital card can also be focused on the fast-growing subscriptions markets in Africa for providers like Netflix NFLX.O and Spotify SPOT.N, stated M-Pesa Africa Managing Director Sitoyo Lopokoiyit.

The digital card is initially accessible to greater than 30 million M-Pesa customers in Kenya and might be rolled out to Tanzania, the place testing is occurring, Mozambique, Congo, Lesotho and Ghana by April 2023, Lopokoiyit stated.

Learn extra: Kenya’s central financial institution checks public opinion about digital currencies

M-Pesa launched 15 years in the past as a easy cash switch service and now accounts for roughly half of Safaricom’s income as customers use it for purchases, financial savings, borrowing and insurance coverage. Safaricom is partly owned by South Africa’s Vodacom Group VODJ.J.

“Lots of M-Pesa clients right now don’t have financial institution accounts… it (the digital card) is a catalyst for e-commerce and digital funds,” stated Visa official Alex McCrea.

Transactions might be topic to the M-Pesa platform’s limits within the native Kenyan foreign money of 150,000 shillings ($1,285) for a single transaction and a each day restrict double that. Customers will be capable of use the digital card whereas travelling overseas.

Transactions on the digital card might be secured with a singular safety code despatched to the person’s cell phone and the person’s M-Pesa private identification quantity.

($1 = 116.7500 Kenyan shillings)

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Modifying by David Holmes and Cynthia Osterman)

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