M-Pesa, Kenya’s leading mobile money payment system seems to be growing in leaps and bounds every year. Since its launch back in 2017, the fintech solutions has grown to command over 70% of the Kenyan mobile money market.
Kenya’s Ministry of Health has even fronted M-Pesa as the solution for avoiding handling cash as a measure of containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobile payment solution has proven itself as a critical tool in making the Kenyan economy go cashless using their mobile phones.
M-Pesa’s growth has not gone unnoticed
In April, one of the world’s biggest financial service provider Visa inked a partnership with M-Pesa to its global network. The two, Visa and M-Pesa will be partnering by connecting their two payment solutions to work in synergy with each other.
This move opens up M-Pesa’s extensive financial service network across East Africa to the global merchant and card network service Visa. At the same time, Visa’s extensive network across 200 countries worldwide is also now easily accessible to M-Pesa users.
The two, Visa and M-Pesa, are said to be currently working on the “development of products that will support digital payments for M-Pesa customers.” Though, admittedly progress on that front is subject to a lot of regulatory approval from the authorities dealing with money markets.
Details still scanty
The two companies are yet to shed more light on the details of their partnership. There is little official communication to go by other than that the two, Visa and M-Pesa, will be collaborating on ways to share their networks. With Visa opening up M-Pesa to its international network worldwide, while M-Pesa reciprocating the same to its local network across East Africa.
The two financial products will ride on each others’ stronger selling points. M-Pesa has become a success in East Africa and a poster child for mobile money services across the rest of Africa and other world regions with a large presence of unbanked population. On the flip side, Visa is mainly present in world regions with a large population that has been accustomed to traditional banking services.
Visa is finding it very hard to break into the world markets with a large unbanked population. M-Pesa is equally finding it hard to gain some traction into world markets where the majority of the people are banked.
“We are delighted to partner with Visa in exploring products that will support both our customers and Lipa Na M-PESA merchants. This partnership will play an important role in delivering even more value to our customers, linking them to even more opportunities especially in global e-commerce,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom. “Cashless payments continue to grow in popularity driven by increased globalization and digitization further creating demand for more innovative services.”
His counterpart, Corine Mbiaketcha the Vice President and General Manager for Visa in East Africa added: “We are very excited to work with Safaricom and leverage our combined assets to broaden our offering to a larger number of merchants and consumers especially as governments and communities are increasingly focused on cashless and remote payments. 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.”