MPESA mobile payment set to start issuing payment cards in Kenya

Kenya’s telecommunication company Safaricom preparing to launch payment cards for its mobile payment app, MPESA, following a successful pilot project that saw the company issue16, 000 payment cards.

“We are currently analysing data and feedback generated during the pilot stage to improve users experience before we do a formal launch this year,” said Safaricom consumer business unit director Sylvia Mulinge.

According to a report by the Daily Nation, the telecommunications company is already working with 47 companies across the East African nation in using the card for its mobile money services. The Lipa na M-Pesa card was issued last year among university students and staff.

Safaricom says the introduction of the card decreases the errors typically made by inputting wrong payment amounts at the till and will also improve the speed of M-Pesa transactions.

The Lipa na M-Pesa card uses the banking industry standard to ensure security, that is by utilizing pin and chip technology. The card is also equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which allows devices close to each other to exchange information via radio communication.

In 2013, the company launched the Lipa na M-Pesa service to enable consumers to pay for goods and services using mobile money.

As MPESA penetrates the banking industry, the Kenyan banks are trying to pinch into mobile money following their recent launch of mobile money transfer platform, Pesalink, that allows money transfer from one bank to another to take on M-Pesa.

The M-Pesa mobile money platform, debit cards and point-of-sale (POS) terminals will allow consumers to pay for goods and services much quicker on the ‘tap-and-go’ basis. The current mobile payment system, M-Pesa, although efficient requires users to follow through several stages before a mobile transaction is completed.

Source: CGTN Africa

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