Visa International, electronic banking leader, announced on Wednesday plans to launch cross-border mobile money payments platform to ease banking in East Africa.
New services will be open to users of any mobile network and “with its extensive international network, will be a strong competitor to telecommunications’ firms mobile money operations”.
Victor Ndlovu, Visa’s East and Central Africa manager, said the platform is “in the final pilot testing stages and will be introduced in October”.
This moves comes as Kenya and East African countries continue to push mobile money into their respective countries, hit hard by price wars last year, and hope this platform will spur business in the region.
The World Bank estimates that Africa receives some $40 billion in remittances annually from abroad. It also estimates Kenyans receive about KES 140 billion annually, but the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) puts the figure at KES 76 billion for 2011. Visa’s new platform will increase access so expect these numbers to increase.