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.