Nairobi, Kenya, August 31, 2020 – Visa, the world leader in digital payments, has today launched a contactless payments campaign in Kenya dubbed “Maisha ni Kutap”. “Maisha ni Kutap” enables a safe and secure contactless experience for consumers. The campaign is targeting the growing base of consumers looking for safer payment solutions, both physically and technologically.
In addition to the advantages of speed and ease, contactless payments are safe because they use protocols similar to encoding (replacing sensitive and private information such as the 16-digit account numbers with a unique digital identifier called the code). The EMV chip generates a one-time encryption code, and thus prevents fraud and counterfeiting attempts. Moreover, Visa has several resources in place to familiarize consumers with the security features provided by contactless payment technologies and e-commerce to keep them safe while paying with their cards.
“Across the globe we’re settling into a new normal, an immediate acceleration of digital shopping, which has dramatically changed the way we live, work and buy. It has impacted how we spend, send and use money, with a tsunami-like ripple effect on many parts of the global economy,” said Corine Mbiaketcha, Country Manager for Visa in Kenya.
Kenya is a leader on the African continent in terms of adopting digital payments. Whilst cash is still king when it comes to everyday transactions, the development and growth of mobile money has slowly increased the volume of cashless transactions. This has also been supported by the accelerated use of card payments. Additionally, as the world began to deal with the pandemic, Kenya implemented measures to accelerate the shift to cashless payments. This involved zero rating smaller mobile money transactions and transfers between bank and mobile money accounts. According to industry statistics from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the net value of transactions stood at Ksh.2.1 trillion at the end of March to represent a seven percent jump in the average value of a single digital transaction.
Together with its partners, Visa relentlessly works towards changing the behavior of the population of Kenya from withdrawing at the ATM with their cards to paying directly with the card at a merchant location, which attracts no surcharge.
“We have seen an increasing demand among consumers and merchants to take advantage of the benefits of contactless payments in light of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working with our partners to ensure that our capabilities are made widely available and updated specifically to help meet today’s challenges. For the transactions that still need to be made in person, we have doubled down on our contactless efforts around the world, including raising spending limits to enable a larger number of PIN-free purchases in more countries around the world,” adds Mbiaketcha.
For consumers, contactless payments offer an easy, fast and secure experience especially as smart phones and even smarter contactless enabled wearable devices are now commonplace. For merchants, tap to pay technology speeds up queuing times and reduces the burden of handling cash.
“Globally, Visa and our partners connect more than 61 million merchant locations. This puts us in a unique position to help businesses drive sales in this critical moment. Leveraging our network, products and our partners, we can help sellers get online easily to reach more customers; we can share data and insights to help businesses build their brands; and we can help buyers and sellers work together through uncertainty, says Mbiaketcha.
The collaboration and support across the industry for raising limits, including Visa’s work with government entities, shows the importance and need for the right solutions. Visa remains committed to supporting consumers, merchants and clients during these challenging times.