Kenyan telco, Safaricom, has agreed a deal which will connect its mobile money service, M-Pesa, to Visa’s global financial network, according to reports in the press.
The deal will see M-Pesa’s 24 million users be able to make and receive payments to and from over 3 billion visa cards across the world.
“This has been the missing link to integrate M-Pesa into the global payments system,” a Safaricom source told journalists from Reuters.
M-Pesa users in Africa will now be able to use the service as if it were a virtual visa linked debit card, allowing them to transfer money and make payments even whilst they are abroad.
Safaricom and pan-African firm Vodacom completed the acquisition of the M-Pesa mobile payment platform from Vodafone earlier this month.
The purchase was made through a joint venture between the two companies. The deal marked a significant moment for both Safaricom and Vadacom as they look to boost their mobile financial service capabilities.
“For Safaricom, we’re excited that the management, support and development of the M-Pesa platform has now been relocated to Kenya, where the journey to transform the world of mobile payments began 13 years ago. This new partnership with Vodacom will allow us to consolidate our platform development, synchronise more closely our product roadmaps, and improve our operational capabilities into a single, fully converged Centre of Excellence,” said Safaricom’s outgoing CEO, Michael Joseph.