Competition may be ramping up for M-Pesa in the battle for mobile payments in Kenya.
Payments giant Visa is gathering a consortium of Kenyan banks to create a service that is essentially a shot across the bow at M-Pesa. Dubbed mVisa, it allows consumers to access bank accounts in order to make payments. Thus far, the Kenyan banks that have signed onto the service include NIC Bank, Family Bank, KCB and Co-Operative Bank. The transactions will be run across the Visa network, and as such, those sending and those receiving funds can be from disparate banks or mobile operators.
Visa said in a release that Kenyans utilizing their smartphones can make in-person and in-store payments via scanning QR codes. The card giant also said that the new platform will boost financial inclusion across Kenya’s population. The latest push into Kenya continues the expansion of mVisa, which first debuted last year in India. There are further plans to expand into Africa, as Visa targets bringing mVisa to Rwanda, Tanzania and other countries in the region.