Safaricom has announced a plan to tie-up with Visa, a global transaction giant, to develop a digital payment service for the M-Pesa platform hence expand the merchant’s e-commerce options.
In a statement, made by the two companies, they said that this development would “seek to eliminate barriers to global commerce and offer an expanded set of mobile e-commerce capabilities to merchants and consumers by enabling secure and convenient cashless payment solutions”.
However, this partnership and consequently the development is subject to regulatory approval but has a great potential to transform the way businesses and customers will make their transactions.
If approved, the deal will have appealing products targeting over 24 million Safaricom Mpesa customers, 173,000 merchants in Kenya, and more than 61 million Visa’s global merchants’ locations across the world.
The Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said that this service will provide numerous potential opportunities for businesses and customers around global e-commerce. However, more details about the deal and the scope of the new products to be developed are yet to be disclosed.
In addition, Corine Mbiaketcha, Visa East Africa VP added: “We envision that our combined efforts in enabling seamless and interoperable financial services and products will eventually drive much desired financial inclusion in our communities.”
This deal comes less than one month after Safaricom, who are leaders in mobile money, took the joint control of the Mpesa IP brand together with Vodacom following its purchase of the asset from the affiliate Vodafone.
Other than these, Safaricom Mpesa has been establishing its global presence by partnering with many other global payment and service providers. It has partnerships will providers such as Western Union, PayPal, Upwork, Amazon, and many more.
These partnerships allow the Mpesa customers to make direct withdrawals or deposits from their mobile phones to digital wallets such as PayPal, purchase products on online marketplaces such as Amazon, receive payments directly from Upwork, and many more. Doing this eliminates the need to go through middlemen who often charge high commissions in addition to delays and cases of lost money.