M-PESA meets debit cards
MOBILEBy BiztechAfrica - Feb. 9, 2011, 1:39 p.m.
Safaricom has launched a new service that allows M-PESA customers to transfer money from their accounts to a Visa Pre-Paid card.
This follows a partnership between Safaricom and I& M Bank signed at Safaricom headquarters this week.
Under the agreement, M-PESA users will now be able to transfer their M-PESA to the M-PESA PrePay Safari Card, which is a international Visa card co-branded by I& M Bank.
The M-PESA PrePay Safari Card comes as a major boost in the push to broaden M-PESA services from a money transfer to a total mobile commerce solution.
The new service allows users to load the M-PESA PrePay Safari Card via their mobile phones, which in turn allows M-PESA subscribers to shop online, pay for hotel accommodation both locally and internationally, and purchase goods and services at over tens of millions of merchant outlets worldwide.
The card can be loaded through M-PESA in Kenya for a subscriber who has travelled internationally and M-PESA customers will also be able to use the card to withdraw cash from over 1.7 million ATMs both locally and internationally.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said M-PESA had become a preferred payment mode acceptable to many Kenyans and several businesses due to its inherent simplicity, safety and convenience.
“ The fact that individuals or businesses do not need to incur heavy capital expenditure setting up infrastructure to tap into the business opportunity introduced by M-PESA has been a major accelerator for growth. This development is key for us as it marks a linkage between M-PESA and the world’ s biggest payment card network, further underlining the service’ s growth from mobile money transfer to a veritable m-commerce solution.”
Collymore said Safaricom would continue exploring innovative means to expand M-PESA’ s reach and menu of services.
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