Safaricom to launch virtual Visa

The virtual Visa will enable customers pay for subscriptions such as Netflix

Safaricom refutes dominance claims by Airtel, says the market is big enough for healthy competition

Telecommunications service provider Safaricom is set to launch a virtual Visa card that will see customers make payments for goods and services globally.

According to Safaricom, the virtual Visa will enable customers to pay for services on platforms like Netflix and Amazon.

Safaricom's Director of Financial Services Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, the company is looking to facilitate e-commerce and make purchasing goods and services online easier.

“The strategy is to open up e-commerce and opportunities for Kenyans to buy products and services online, whether it’s Amazon, Netflix and so on and so forth. So, it makes it much easier to do that,” said Lopokoiyit.

The product is set to be launched in June 2022 and is expected to boost Safaricom's M-Pesa platform.

In the financial year ending March 2022 Safaricom’s profits dropped from Sh68.7 billion to Sh67.49 billion which was attributed to a challenging business environment owed to Covid-19 and heightened regulatory risk as factors.

M-Pesa revenues, however, grew by 30.3% to Sh107.69 billion which largely came as a result of the resumption to charging previously zero-rated transactions.

Another factor that has pushed for the growth in the use of M-Pesa has been the growth in demand for services such as the overdraft facility Fuliza.

Safaricom is also waiting on regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to launch its investment platform, Mali, which will allow subscribers to invest in unit trusts with as little as Sh100 with interests of up to 10% annually.

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