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).
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.