Visa partners with Interswitch to boost mVisa access in Africa

Last year, Kenyan banks teamed up with Visa Inc., the world’s largest payments network to launch the strategic mVisa  a mobile-phone application to enable cashless transactions in Kenya.

The banks included KCB Group, Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd, Family Bank, KCB and NIC Bank.

In 2017, Visa has announced a partnership with Interswitch, Africa’s integrated payments and transaction solutions company, to increase mVisa adoption across Africa.

According to Vanguard and BusinessInsider,  The two companies will team up to upgrade the digital banking apps of some of the region’s leading banks to include mVisa, while making the payment method more accessible for merchants.

In 2016, 40% of the adult population in eight African countries were actively using mobile money, according to the GSMA. And Kenya’s M-Pesa, which is run by mobile network operator (MNO) Safaricom, is used by more than 65% of the country’s population. Further, 86% of households make mobile payments, accounting for 70% of noncash transactions. MVisa could benefit from these growing consumer habits around using mobile devices to complete transactions.

Although M-Pesa and some other mobile money services have carved out their own shares of the mobile payments space in Africa, these services aren’t seamless; MVisa, however, is interoperable, which could help it gain ground — and if the service enables cross-border transactions in other African markets, it could push into regions where other platforms already have a stronghold.