Visa Mobile Payments to Expand to 33 African Countries
Ecobank said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Visa to roll out the payment network’s QR-based mobile transaction service mVisa in 33 African countries by the end of this year. The move is the latest global push for mVisa. This autumn, India’s ICICI Bank Limited launched the service in that country, “enabling customers to make electronic payments from their smartphones at physical stores, e-commerce and other deliveries at home, radio taxis and utility billers, among others” the financial institution said.
Under the similar Mastercard deal, Ecobank gained license for its subsidiaries in 28 African nations to issue and accept Mastercard prepaid, debit and credit cards.
Both networks are challenging the dominant Kenya-based M-PESA mobile money transfer service, operated by telecom firm Safaricom. In October Safaricom announced that a pilot that allows university students to use payments cards linked to M-PESA accounts would be scaled up. In its recently released half-year earning report, Safaricom said that 24.8 million consumers are registered M-Pesa users, with approximately 50,000 merchants accepting the payments. M-Pesa revenue increased 33.7 percent over the same period in 2015, the telecom said.