About Visa

Empowering Kenyans - Visa and Safaricom’s Partnership

Illustration of Data transfer on a mobile phone.

Most people in Kenya know M-Pesa, the mobile phone-based money transfer, payments and micro-financing service, launched in 2007 and operated by Safaricom, the largest mobile network operator in Kenya. M-Pesa (which literally means “mobile money” – ‘M’ for money and ‘pesa’ for money in Swahili) allows users to deposit, withdraw and transfer money or pay for goods and services (Lipa na M-Pesa), access credit and savings, all with a mobile device.

That’s why Visa’s partnership with Safaricom is all the more important, as it helps connect over 24 million M-PESA customers, more than 173,000 Lipa Na M-PESA merchants from Safaricom, and more than 61 million merchant locations throughout Visa’s global network, and over 3.4 billion Visa cards in more than 200 countries and territories.

Breaking Barriers and Creating Access

The partnership will eliminate barriers that have hindered consumers and businesses in Kenya and prevented them from taking full advantage of global online payment services. All products and solutions that will be jointly developed under the collaboration will be subject to regulatory approval and the partnership is the latest milestone in Visa’s Africa strategy, with the continent remaining central to the company’s long-term growth plans. Africa’s regional importance is where the power of partnerships – both with valued traditional clients and those in the fintech and MNO community - is critical to Visa’s goal of helping individuals, businesses and economies to thrive.

The partnership reinforces Visa’s commitment to secure and provide convenient cashless payment solutions that drive financial inclusion, while helping enable digital payments for the millions of micro and small merchants across the continent.

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