Visa announced today that consumers of a Visa-led bank partnership in Kenya will be able to send money to each other domestically without paying transaction fees using mVisa.
The partnership offering free person-to-person (P2P) transactions currently includes nine Kenyan banks which have either enabled mVisa on their mobile banking applications and/or have acquired merchants to be able to accept mVisa. These are Barclays Bank, Cooperative Bank, Ecobank, Family Bank, KCB Bank, National Bank of Kenya, NIC Bank, Prime Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank. Other banks, either live or about to go live with mVisa, include Diamond Trust Bank and Stanbic.
“This is a significant move especially when you consider how much Kenyans spend on transaction fees for mobile money transfers every year. With 38.9 million active mobile phone subscriptions and Ksh. 515.9 billion1 in person-to-person money transfers within the last quarter of 2016, mobile money payments have become an integral part of Kenyans’ lives,” said Andrew Torre, Group Country Manager for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa. “There is a strong sense of community here with people often sending funds to family, friends and even strangers in times of need, celebration or crisis. We hope to enhance this by eliminating barriers such as transaction costs2 , while giving customers a convenient, secure and affordable experience. We are excited to continue to build momentum around mVisa to digitize payments with a scalable and interoperable solution that is not limited by the mobile network, bank, or type of handset used.”
Consumers can use mVisa to send money directly from their bank to a recipient’s bank account regardless of whether they use a smart phone or feature phone. Transactions are processed via Visa’s global network, VisaNet, applying the scale, security and reliability of Visa to mobile payments in emerging markets.
mVisa will now also be accepted at thousands of merchant locations across the country including Nakumatt, KenolKobil, IMAX Theaters, EatOut, Zucchini, Little Cab, Kenya Airways, and Bata. mVisa will soon be accepted at thousands of merchants aggregated through Direct Pay Online and Jambo Pay.
“We are also very excited to see more and more merchants come on board every day as they are begin to understand the benefits that mVisa brings, including real-time notifications of payments entering their bank account and access to sales and transactions history,” Torre said.
“Smaller merchants in particular, have realised that they no longer have to invest in expensive point of sale infrastructure as mVisa gives them the freedom to accept bank to bank payments in a convenient, secure and affordable manner that their customers can appreciate and trust. We have multiple campaigns lined up for the coming months to support our merchants and encourage new customers to experience mVisa at various locations across the country.”
“mVisa is a trailblazer; the mobile First approach is ideal for our ecosystem where mobile penetration is at a staggering 88%. mVisa customers will be able to make card-less purchases or send & receive money using their mobile phones,” said CS. Mucheru. “The burden of carrying several cards and other instruments is no more, customers will cherish the convenience and freedom of this secure electronic transactions.”
“I congratulate Visa for creating this platform and partnering with Kenya’s leading banks and payment facilitators such as Direct Pay Online and JamboPay to enable thousands of merchants to accept mVisa payments. We do not take this partnerships for granted, knowing as we do, that it demonstrates the confidence and faith that Visa – a leading international brand, has in Kenya’s banking sector and indeed the economy at large,” Mucheru added.
The mVisa implementation in Kenya benefited from the Visa Developer Platform, which allowed all partner banks the ability to integrate the mVisa APIs directly into their mobile banking apps. While rolling out a new solution with a bank typically can take a very long time from development to implementation and testing, utilising the Visa Developer Platform interface reduced the time taken significantly. This helped to speed up the number of banks who have been able to roll out the mVisa solution in Kenya.
mVisa is now live in Kenya, India, Rwanda and Egypt with plans to launch in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Vietnam underway.