Visa and Safaricom to link for global payments

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Safaricom and Visa have sealed a deal to connect the M-Pesa financial service platform to Visa’s global network of merchants and cards.

In this new deal, which the regulators have to approve, M-Pea’s 24million customers and 173,000 local merchants will be linked to Visa’s 61 million merchants and its 3bn plus cards.

“This has been the missing link to integrate M-Pesa into the global payments system,” said a source from Safaricom.

The mobile phone M-Pesa will act as a virtual card that allows users that travel abroad to make payments and allows them to transfer cash to their M-Pesa wallet from their linked debit cards.

“Safaricom and M-Pesa have already…put Kenya on the map as a global leader in mobile money,” Mr Torre said.

M-Pesa allows its users to transfer money, pay for goods and services, and even borrow cash from local lenders.

Safaricom has integrated M-Pesa with the global payment system, Western Union, which allows M-Pesa users to send money around the world.

According to Safaricom, Paypal, and Alipay, which are international money transfers were one of the top revenue sources for M-Pesa last year. However, it remains on the low side.

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Anthony Kiratu is the Founder of Finsolutions. He is a financial analyst with over 5 years experience in research, investment advisory, valuation and financial modelling. Anthony is a member of the Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysts and Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. He is passionate about development of African Capital Markets through training of investors and dissemination of information for sound financial and investment decision making process. He is also a part-time lecturer in the Certified Investment and Financial Analyst course in the subjects of International Finance, Portfolio Management, Equity Investment Analysis, and Fixed Income Securities. Email: anthony@finsolutions.co.ke Contact: +254 780216631

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