Safaricom is working on prepaid debit card issued by Kenya Commercial Bank and powered by Mastercard to allow M-PESA users load cash on their cards directly from their M-PESA accounts then use them for transactions such as till payments, bus fares, online shopping among others according to people familiar with the matter.
The firm’s target release date is in one week but the actual release might be delayed due to regulator and license issues said the people familiar with the matter.The firm recently launched a KCB M-PESA Account to help anyone borrow and save cash with the Kenya Commercial Bank.
Launched in March by KCB in partnership with Safaricom, the KCB M-PESA Account recently announced it had hit over 1 million customers, in just four weeks after it was launched to the public.
The service allows users to access loans via their mobile phones based on their credit worth history while also enabling them to save on free deposit accounts and earn interest. Similar services include Safaricom and CBA’s M-SHWARI and a number of other services such as Mkopo Rahisi.
The M-PESA Mastercard Debit card will kill a number of prepaid cards such as Nation Hela, Nakumatt Global which and other Visa powered debit cards such as Airtel Money Visa Card and others from various banks in the country.
We expect the KCB-M-PESA prepaid debit to allow users to save their cash to their cards then use it for shopping, pay for transport, at the till and several other places and will be a development from the rudimentary Lipa Na M-PESA and Pay Bill Services from Safaricom.
Airtel has a similar service but because the telco is shy to talk about its Airtel Money service, just a few people have taken it up.
We shall get you more information on this development when we get it.