A virtual card is different from a physical one in that it is not a printed cut out like the regular ones we use. Virtual cards are stored and used inside an app without the need to swipe to make a payment.
Safaricom has launched a virtual M-Pesa card that will enable users to transact online. The virtual card works similar to a regular Visa or MasterCard and is practical for shopping at any website that accepts them.
The card is a map to your Safaricom M-Pesa account and does not keep any money. It is a virtual card, and you cannot use it to physically swipe at the supermarket since it is purely a digital product. However, it is applicable for online transactions, cross-border transactions, or any other website that accepts Mastercard or Visa.
To activate and use the virtual M-Pesa card, M-Pesa has provided two convenient ways;
The first option is under M-Pesa Global Pay through your Safaricom app. Activate the M-pesa card by locating Global Pay on your M-Pesa app and following the easy prompts to start using the service.
The second option is via USSD code. Dial *334#, follow up with the option Lipa na M-Pesa, and subsequently Global pay to activate. You will then receive an SMS containing details on how to use the app and get information on how much you can use it to carry out transactions.
Since this is a mobile money product that you need to load funds on every time you want to use it, there are some restrictions as far as amounts go. You cannot send more than Ksh 150,000 in one transaction, and on an average day, your account should not transact more than Ksh 300,000.
In addition, there’s no way of getting funds back from this virtual card once they’ve been withdrawn, so if you have made any mistakes such as sending money to the wrong person or organization, you will have a hill to climb!
Given Safaricom’s latest adventures in the wider African region, it is safe to assume that Safaricom is looking to provide a payment platform that will open up trade in Africa.
Safaricom has partnered with global payment giants like PayPal and Visa to enable smooth and on-time payments.
According to Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, M-PESA is a service that has transformed over the past fifteen years from a simple way to send money to an innovative payment platform and driver of financial inclusion. This growth has led to the development of numerous innovative services, which Visa is capitalizing on by providing M-PESA customers with virtual cards to use in any country.