Visa is partnering Interswitch and everyone else in the payments sector to double up the uptake of its mVisa, a mobile payments solution that allows consumers to pay for goods from any type of phone by either scanning a QR code, or entering a merchant number.

The Visa and Interswitch partnership is a noble move as the firm is one of the largest Visa third party processor in Africa with presence in various African markets across East and West Africa. Before Interswitch, Visa announced it had partnered with Kopo Kopo and DTB to drive mVisa adoption.

According to Visa East Africa General Manager Sunny Walia, “mVisa is completely interoperable, meaning that the consumer and the merchant do not need to be customers of the same bank.  It can also be used to enable consumers who use different mobile phones and services to interact.  This brings a versatile and secure digital payments solution, powered by Visa, to consumers everywhere. Consumers will experience the same look, feel and familiarity of their banking app and have the option of making an mVisa payment in an easy-to-understand way.”

mVisa payment goes directly from the consumer’s account into the merchant’s account and provides real-time notification to both parties.  The partnership will see Interswitch upgrade the digital banking applications of leading banks to include mVisa, as well as enable more merchants to accept mVisa payments.

The mVisa solution will allow informal traders to accept electronic payments in a cost-effective way, without the need for investing in point of sale terminals.  Merchants are able to receive payments directly into their bank account within minutes of a consumer making a payment. Unlike other mobile payment solutions, mVisa supports well-established processes to handle refunds and charge-backs for consumers.

Interswitch East Africa Chief Executive Officer Paul Ndichu affirms that Interswitch is the largest Visa third party processor in Africa and will work very closely with Visa in selected African markets across East and West Africa to develop a Merchant Management Platform to receive Original Credit Transactions (OCT) from Visa as well as app-based merchant enrolment solutions, which enable minimum Static QR code functionality.