Safaricom Partners with Visa to Launch M-PESA GlobalPay Virtual Card.

Global digital payments giant, Visa, and Kenya’s biggest telecom Safaricom, have today launched a virtual card, that will enable millions of M-Pesa users to make digital payments globally, and giving Visa extended reach across Africa. The launch of the M-Pesa GlobalPay Visa virtual card follows a partnership between the two companies forged in April 2020 to develop products that will support digital payments for M-Pesa customers.The GlobalPay Visa virtual card is linked to the customer’s M-PESA wallet that enables them to make payments to International online merchant for goods and services using their card details. The card includes a 16-digit…

Global digital payments giant, Visa, and Kenya’s biggest telecom Safaricom, have today launched a virtual card, that will enable millions of M-Pesa users to make digital payments globally, and giving Visa extended reach across Africa.

The launch of the M-Pesa GlobalPay Visa virtual card follows a partnership between the two companies forged in April 2020 to develop products that will support digital payments for M-Pesa customers.The GlobalPay Visa virtual card is linked to the customer’s M-PESA wallet that enables them to make payments to International online merchant for goods and services using their card details. The card includes a 16-digit card number, expiry date (mm/yy) of the card and the security code also referred to as Card Verification Value (CVV).

“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.”

Peter Ndegwa, CEO Safaricom

“Safaricom has changed how money moves in Kenya. We are pleased to be working together to build new and innovative payments products and services that will help merchants and customers in Sub-Saharan Africa overcome hurdles to global trade. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Safaricom, especially given the current environment where we are seeing a hastened shift away from cash and toward digital payments. We are forging a new path for local payments by combining our large global network and experience with Safaricom’s local know-how and subscriber base,”

Corine Mbiaketcha, Visa Vice President and General Manager for East Africa.

How M-Pesa GlobalPay Works

To access this service:

  1. Log in to your M-PESA APP
  2. Select Pay Tab, or Grow Tab
  3. Select the GlobalPay tab, to activate your M-PESA GlobalPay.
  4. Select your card colour.
  5. Enter PIN
  6. You will receive an SMS with the card number and expiry date

Customers can also activate GlobalPay by dialling *334# then selecting option 6 for “Lipa Na M-PESA” followed by “M-PESA GlobalPay”.

In this menu, you can also access other services such as generate CVV, suspend or unsuspend card, cancel card, enable or disable repeat payments, check your monthly budget and mini statement, dispute a payment that has been made and change card colour.

M-PESA customer limits will apply: minimum amount of KES 110 and a maximum of KES 150,000 per transaction with a maximum transaction limit of KES 300.000 per day. The minimum amount will change based on the prevailing USD-KES rate. A point to note is that the minimum amount is dynamic and equivalent to $1 to ease settlement procedures.

Users will not be charged to make payments for online purchases as there is no transaction cost. However, Safaricom will apply markup of 3.5 percent on the transaction value at the prevailing forex rate. This will be based on the exchange rate of the billing currency (KES) to the currency used at the time of purchase e.g. (USD, GBP etc.) In case of a reversal, the total amount reversed back to the customer is not inclusive of the 3.5 percent forex markup fee.

The Card Verification Value (CVV) is a security feature that enables merchant sites to ensure you are the real owner of the card to reduce fraudulent activities on your card. A CVV is generated by the customer during the payment process, to verify the payment. All CVV generated will only be valid for 30 minutes to prevent anyone who has your card details from using your card because they may have to generate another CVV.

Users can make repeat payments to a merchant to debit your M-PESA wallet for regularly occurring payments, for instance, subscription services such as Netflix. These repeat payments require customer authorization. However, customers can only pay to international online merchants such as Netflix, Amazon, AliExpress etc. For a transaction initiated to a local online merchant like Jumia, the M-PESA Customer will receive an appropriate message on the checkout option advising them to use Lipa na M-PESA option.

The card expires every 3 years. Customers will be informed at least 4 times before their card expires in the following Intervals: – 1 Month, 7 days, 3 days and 1 day to expiry.

Following the Kenya launch, Visa hinted that it will forge similar partnerships across Africa, opening up a huge market for merchants tapping Africa for growth.

“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 Mbiaketcha.

The virtual card will enable 30 million M-Pesa users to make cashless payments at Visa’s global network of more than 100 million merchants spread across 200 countries. Previously, M-Pesa users could only make mobile money payments within M-Pesa’s network of nearly 400,000 merchants. Other Safaricom global partnerships include PayPal, AliExpress and Western Union, that enable customers to receive and send money globally.

Safaricom say that the M-PESA GlobalPay Visa Virtual Card will gradually be available across other M-PESA markets through the M-PESA Super App. These include Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Lesotho and Ghana.

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Eddy Ndungu
Eddy Ndungu

Just another papercut survivor.

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