Visa to Start Mobile Money Transfer in Africa

VISA, the international payments service provider, is set to launch its mobile money transfer designed specifically for the African market.

East Africa in particular has shown the rest of the world the potential in Mobile money transfer services. According to World Bank, the region receives $40 Billion annually. Kenyans are estimated to receive KShs140 billion annually, although the Central Bank of Kenya quotes the figure at KShs76 billion for 2011.

It is a service that will be available to all mobile phone users irrespective of their network, a barrier that has been there, restricting transfers based on the network provider. Victor Ndlovu, Visa Country Manager for East and Central Africa, “Mobile money is of very key for us. This is our key growth areas. This is seen as a move by Visa to tap into the large mobile money transfer market, having the advantage of being an international company.”

The platform is targeting the African market, where billions in remittance funds flow across the borders each year. Users will be able to send money internationally using its network, bypassing telecommunications companies. “We want our clients to send, receive and withdraw money without visiting agents,” Ndlovu added.

Currently, Visa has been adjusting to fit into the new trends in the market, moving from the production of general-purpose credit cards, to new, secure, digital wallets designed to work in any commerce environment. Visa’s mobile strategy focuses on four key areas:

  • Mobile payment- like the Visa payWave, used at points of sale transactions.

  • Mobile Money Transfer- allows accounts holders to initiate money transfers by sending an SMS text message to the issuing bank.

  • Mobile Acceptance- allowing merchants to receive payment via a specially equipped mobile device.

  • Mobile-Value Added Services (M-VAS), like Mobile Transaction alerts, that notifies the users in real-time about the transactions that have taken place.

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