Airtel Relaunches its Airtel Money Card Days Before Safaricom Launches its M-Pesa NFC Card

Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi displays the Airtel Money Premier VISA card
Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi displays the Airtel Money Premier VISA card
Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi displays the Airtel Money Premier VISA card

You probably remember the Airtel Money card launched two years ago in partnership with Chase Bank, the firm has today began to push is pushing its Airtel Money Card, emphasizing online payments and easy access to funds 24 hours a day.


Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said, “We are happy that our customers have now regained the use of their Airtel Money Card for convenient everyday shopping at any VISA outlet, online shopping and easy and secure access of cash at ATM’s in Kenya and while traveling abroad.”


On one hand, this could be an internal strategy by the firm to push its products to the wider market without interference or consideration of any other forces. Most firms don’t make decisions due to their competition. On the other, Safaricom recently announced it is testing its NFC-powered M-PESA Card which might be a big hit or not; but as competition, Airtel has to respond or be left in the cold.


Simply explained, the Airtel Money Card links a user’s Airtel Money account to a VISA card that’s secured with a PIN code just like a normal debit and ATM card. Customers shopping in supermarkets, fueling at petrol stations and dining at restaurants both locally and internationally can use the Airtel Money card to pay for goods and services at any VISA enabled outlet anywhere in the world.


Card holders can also use the card to shop for a variety of goods and services online including airline ticket purchases, bookings or donations and to withdraw cash from ATMs.

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The Airtel Money VISA card is issued FREE of charge to registered Airtel Money customers. Airtel Money customers can obtained the card by filling a form at any Airtel Shop in Kenya, and attaching a copy of their ID card or passport. Customers can also order for the Airtel VISA Card from their Airtel line via USSD by dialing 2223#.  The cash withdrawal charges using the card at ATM’s range from Kshs.30 to Kshs.50 (at Visa and Kenswitch ATM’s) locally and Kshs.250 for International withdrawals outside the country.


Safaricom hasn’t made it’s card’s prices public as the cards are still under pilot. The NFC cards will enable users to tap and pay for just abut anything by just taping at NFC enabled POS. The advantage the M-Pesa cards might have is they are linked securely to your M-Pesa account and might be more convenient minus use of USSD codes.