It’s been at least a few years since Kenya’s largest mobile service provider – Safaricom, teased us with the introduction of a virtual prepaid card attached to the MPESA wallet that would allow users to easily perform online transactions safely using their wallet balances. Safaricom in conjunction with global payments giant – Visa, have finally announced the availability of this feature here in Kenya. Unlike traditional prepaid and credit cards, MPESA GlobalPay Virtual Visa card utilizes MPESA balances and only exists as a virtual card within the MPESA app.
The new service under MPESA GlobalPay brand is very different from what we’ve known for the past decade as MPESA Global. While MPESA GlobalPay allows MPESA users to pay for items online on merchants that accept Visa payments, MPESA Global would simply enable users in various territories to send and receive money to each other.
According to the telco’s Chief Executive Officer – Peter Ndegwa, the two organizations started working on the idea at least two yeas ago. It coincides with the time when the CEO took helm of the company after departure of deceased Bob Collymore and consequently Michael Joseph in an acting capacity.
How much can you transact using the M-PESA GlobalPay Virtual Visa Card
While traditional Visa cards attached to bank accounts gives you freedom to make as many transactions as each Bank permits, there’s a limit on how much you can do with the M-PESA GlobalPay Virtual Visa Card. The same limits used on your MPESA wallet applies. This in effect means, you’l work with a minimum of KES 110, whereas the maximum is KES 150K. At the same time, your daily transaction limit will be capped at Ksh 300,000.
How to enroll and use MPESA GlobalPay Virtual Visa Card
There are two ways that Safaricom customers can opt-in to the Virtual Visa card; by use of an SSD Code or through the MPESA App. Something to note though, you’ll need a smartphone to effectively use the service, as there’s quite several key features that would require internet connection.
- On your phone, dial *334# then
- Select option “6” for “Lipa na MPESA”
- Followed by MPESA GlabalPay
- An MPESA PIN will be required to activate both options
Using MPESA app
- Launch the MPESA app
- Then tap on MPESA GlabalPay located under “Pay” or “Grow” option
- You’ll be asked to OPTIN, tap on it then
- Enter your MPESA PIN,
- You should receive a flash message confirming OPT-IN
- You can proceed to customize the look and feel of your card, such as choosing a color or image
- Then tap on “Create”, you’ll receive a flash message with card number and expiry details.
After activating the service users can then generate a CVV code that will be used when making transactions online. Within the APP, you can;
- Show card details including a CVV that’s valid for 30 minutes
- Copy card number
- Enable repeat payments
- And suspend the card
- There’s also a cost estimator showing the exchange rate against the US Dollar, as well as an option to set a monthly budget.