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Orange Money Debit Visa Card by Equity Bank, Visa and Telkom Kenya

Orange Telkom Kenya through its ‘Orange Money’ service which allows subscribers to send and receive money using their cell phones, has partnered with Equity bank and Visa to introduce the first ever debit card that directly links to subscriber’s bank accounts and the Orange Money services. During the launch, Telkom Kenya’s CEO Mickael Ghossein noted the introduction of the card was as a result of the need to equip customers with additional channels through which they can access their money and carryout various transactions such as merchant payments, ATM withdrawals and online shopping. He also indicated that Orange Money Debit Visa card was in accordance with the firm’s goal of offering convenience and enabling customers access its unmatched and versatile services using multiple channels. On top of the various services available on the debit card, users will be rewarded loyalty points (Orange Telkom Kenya’s loyalty reward scheme).

Unlike the Safaricom’s Pre-Paid card, Orange Money’s Visa Debit card is more secure courtesy of the integrated microchip which makes it virtually impossible to copy. The encryption technology employed on this card prevents unauthorized access to information stored on it, thereby guaranteeing safe transaction process. Since the debit card is linked to user’s personal bank account, Orange Money will not impose restrictions on transactions made such as the maximum and minimum deposits with the only reservations affecting theamount of money that you have in your account. Apart from the inbuilt features intended to cushion customers against the steady increase of cyber crimes, Orange Money Pre-Paid Visa Card is EMV compliant. It’s anticipated the institutions involved will aim at opening newer avenues of innovations in accessing various banking services through mobile phone technology.
As of now, Kenya leads the region in using plastic cards with more than 7.9 cards compared to its neighbors Tanzania and Uganda which have 300,000 and 700,000 cards in use respectively; on top of that, more Kenyans are embracing mobile banking services offered by various service providers, thereby making it more suitable for the initiative. Mobile money services such as Mpesa are now being used by multinational companies like Virgin Atlantic and British Airways to receive payments from travelers. Visa is a globally recognized secure, fast and reliable payment platform serving millions of businesses and customers in more than 200 countries; there are more than 1.8 million ATMs from which Visa customers can withdraw their cash.

The introduction of a Pre-Paid Orange Money Visa Debit card linking subscriber’s bank accounts alongside other Orange Money services is expected to bolster the service provider’s market base considering a steady increase in demand for mobile based solutions in the region. A few months ago, Safaricom which enjoys a considerable market share of the overall Kenyan subscribers unveiled a similar Pre-Paid Visa card in collaboration with I&M Bank. Airtel on the other hand, has engaged both MasterCard and Standard Chartered Bank to enable its Airtel Money customers make online payments to merchants using a virtual MasterCard. Apart from the obvious business potential posed by the prevalent embrace of mobile solutions on the continent, Linking mobile application with Visa’s extensive card network is a logical next step in terms of Visa’s mobile strategy to extend Visa’s reach and bring more people into the formal Financial Services sector.

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