As Safaricom release their full year results, they have also promised to bring to the market new products associated with M-Pesa.
M-Pesa has been a very successful model for Safaricom and even the products the telco have come to release later have also been a success. We have seen the returns that Safaricom have had from M-Pesa loan services like KCB M-Pesa, M-Shwari, and Fuliza.
During the presentation of Safaricom’s full-year results for the year ended March 2022, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said that the telco is set to launch two new products. By the end of June 2022, Safaricom will launch M-Pesa Junior Accounts, and a virtual debit card for international online payments.
M-Pesa Junior Accounts
The telco has announced plans to launch M-Pesa Junior Accounts for young Kenyans between the age of 10 to 18 years. These are individuals who do not have IDs to register a Safaricom line but have access to the network via SIM cards registered under their guardians or parents.
“We plan to soon launch an M-PESA Junior Product for our children who may have access to mobile phones,” said CEO Ndegwa. Safaricom says that the product should go live sometime before June elapses.
Kenya has been tightening its grip on SIM card registration over the last couple of weeks. Customers are being advised to re-confirm details about their SIM cards as regulators and telcos move towards stamping out illegal activities involving fraudulently registered SIM cards.
Children can also have SIM cards too, but they have to be registered using their parents’ or guardians’ identification documents.
Safaricom has not revealed additional details on how the M-PESA Junior accounts will work, but we will update you as soon as we get additional information.
Virtual M-Pesa Debit Cards
A lot of M-Pesa users have been wishing Safaricom would launch a virtual debit card that can be used for international online payments. With the millions of M-Pesa users using its different products every day, it has become clear that M-Pesa is part of Kenya’s financial system. This is seen by the sheer numbers and the amounts it transacts.
The issue of virtual debit cards can also be associated with online products and services Kenyans pay for. While products such as music streaming service Spotify can be paid for using M-PESA directly, others such as Netflix have not gotten there yet, meaning customers are forced to use cards associated with their banks. This introduces some friction, especially for folks who do not want to do that for security reasons or any other concern.
Still at the reveal of the telco’s FY’2022 results, Safaricom CEO announced that the operator will launch M-PESA GlobalPay powered by Visa Virtual Cards for international online payments.
The card should be here before the end of June 2022.
“With support from our regional regulators and partners, we are working together to deliver innovative products in a new year such as Visa Virtual Card by M-PESA GlobalPay to support international online payments,” says CEO Peter Ndegwa.
PS: Both products are subject to regulatory approval.