Visa has today introduced a new mobile payment service in the country. Known as mVisa, the company says the service is will accelerate digital commerce in Kenya and across Africa.
With mVisa, consumers can directly access all of the funds in their bank accounts to pay merchants (person-to-merchant or P2M) or individuals (person-to-person or P2P). Because the transaction runs through the Visa network, the consumers and merchants do not need to be customers of the same bank or mobile operator.
Consumers can pay merchants via mVisa by scanning a QR code on a smartphone or by entering a merchant number into a feature phone. The payment goes straight from the consumer’s bank account into the merchant’s account and provides real-time notification to both parties;
The QR code, which provides the customers with the merchant’s bank details, can be in the form of a static printout (either on the store counter or on a printed bill) or a dynamic display generated on the merchant’s mobile device. This allows merchants of all sizes to accept electronic payments without the need to obtain and run traditional point-of-sale devices. Consumers can also use mVisa agents for domestic remittances as well as to access their cash if there is no ATM machine nearby.
“It is an exciting time as we work with our Kenyan partners to bring a new mobile payment solution to accelerate commerce,” said Andrew Torre, Group Country Manager for Visa in Sub-Sahara Africa. “Kenyans already understand the benefits of mobile payments, and mVisa offers them a better way to pay and be paid, with a service which is not limited by the mobile network they have or the handset they use. The service also brings the advantages of Visa’s global network – security, reliability and global acceptance – and allows consumers to make payments both domestically and internationally.”
As part of its initial roll-out, Visa has partnered with Co-Operative Bank, Family Bank, KCB and NIC Bank to deliver this service to Kenyan consumers and merchants. This brings, for the first time in Kenya, a versatile and secure mobile payment solution, powered by Visa and its partner financial institutions.
mVisa will be available for both smartphone and feature phone, with the potential to provide a mobile payment service to nearly all 38 million1 active mobile phone users in Kenya.