Visa, leading Kenyan banks launch mVisa
Visa has introduced mVisa, a QR code-bade new mobile-payment service that is intended to accelerate digital commerce in Kenya and across Africa. As part of its initial rollout, Visa has partnered with Co-Operative Bank, Family Bank, KCB, and NIC Bank to deliver this service to Kenyan consumers and merchants, according to a Visa press release.
Visa first introduced the service last year in India.
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. This brings, for the first time in Kenya, a versatile and secure mobile payment solution, powered by Visa and its partner financial institutions.
Visa's service will be available for both smartphones and feature phones, with the potential to provide a mobile payment service to nearly all 38 million active mobile phone users in Kenya. Consumers can also use mVisa agents for domestic remittances as well as to access their cash if there is no ATM machine nearby. These features are intended to accelerate financial inclusion, a core objective of both the Kenyan government and Visa. This is also in line with Visa's 2015 commitment to the World Bank to bring the benefits of Visa and electronic payments to 500 million more people globally by the end of 2020.