Visa rolls out mVisa in Kenya to disrupt Mobile Payments



In an effort to facilitate wireless payments in Kenya, Visa, Inc. V, a leader in global payments, has introduced the mobile-phone application called mVisa.

This app has been introduced to enable Kenyans to make wireless payments through their hand held. To date, the lion’s share of wireless payments are made by Kenya’s largest telecommunication company Safaricom Ltd.

The mVisa app will initially facilitate transactions made by those holding accounts in four banks, two of which are KCB Group Ltd. and Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd.

The key feature of this mobile app is that it is inter-operable, freeing it from its dependence on a bank or a mobile operator.

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The mVisa app allows users to make payments via their smartphone by scanning a unique merchant Quick Response or QR code. Nearly 1,500 merchants have signed up to this app. Also, Kenyan lenders with units in the region want to introduce the system in neighboring nations.

Visa is keen on growing in this market since it remains underpenetrated with an estimated 84 million of Africa’s mobile-phone users still paying by cash. It plans to convert this user base to wireless in no time. The company, which was not very successful in tapping the African market with its traditional card payments system, is now chalking out its strategy of wireless money payments. Other African regions, where Visa plans to launch this app within the next two months are Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The company also expects to have the first Nigerian bank signing up by 2016 end.

The unprecedented use of technology and the growing use of smartphone has necessitated the availability of mobile transfer services, given its easy usage.

Last year, Visa announced the launch of its mVisa app in India. Given the company’s thrust on expanding it mobile payment service, we expect the rollout of this app in other regions soon.

Visa carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in this space are Regional Management Corp. RM, Credit Acceptance Corp. CACC and SLM Corporation SLM. While Regional Management Corp. sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), SLM Corporation and Credit Acceptance Corp. carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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