Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom and payments leader Visa on Thursday launched a virtual payment card to enable users to make digital payments across the globe.
The M-PESA GlobalPay Visa Virtual card will allow Kenyans to securely make cashless payments at merchant locations in over 200 countries through Visa’s global network.
The launch follows a partnership the two companies announced back in 2020 to develop products that will support digital payments for M-PESA customers. With this joint effort, Visa and Safaricom said they will seek to eliminate barriers to global commerce and offer an expanded set of mobile e-commerce capabilities to merchants and consumers by enabling secure and convenient cashless payment solutions.
The M-PESA GlobalPay Visa Virtual 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.
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 KES 150,000 per transaction and KES 300,000 per day at the prevailing Forex rates.
“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 Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
The virtual card will initially be available to M-Pesa users in Kenya and will be rolled out 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.
“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,” said Corine Mbiaketcha, Vice President and General Manager for East Africa at Visa. “Safaricom has already transformed how money moves in Kenya, and we are excited to be working together to develop new and innovative payments products and services that can eliminate barriers to global commerce for merchants and consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, through Visa’s global footprint.”
Customers can activate the card via the M-PESA App by selecting M-PESA GlobalPay, under “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.