Safaricom recently partnered with payments giant, Visa, to bring the MPESA Visa Card integrated into your MPESA wallet. Let’s explore.
The virtual Card allows MPesa users to make online payments at international merchants that accept Visa cards.
How to Create MPesa Virtual Visa Card
To get the M-PESA, you can either use the USSD Code *334# or use the M-PESA app.
How to Create MPesa Virtual Visa Card via the USSD code *334#
- Dial the M-PESA USSD *334# on your phone
- Select Lipa na M-PESA
- Select M-PESA GlobalPay
- Accept the Terms and Conditions
- Enter your M-PESA PIN
You will receive your 16-digit virtual Visa card number via SMS. The message also has the expiry date for the Card.
How to Create MPesa Virtual Card via MPESA App
Follow these steps:
- Log in to your M-PESA App
- Select the GlobalPay tab under the Frequent Services menu
- Tap on the “Create” button
- Choose a color for your Card
- Tap Create New card button and that’s it.
Your new card details will be displayed on the virtual card. Note that the Card has a countdown timer for the dynamic CVV i.e. changes automatically after every 30 minutes.
Additionally, you can “enable repeat payments” feature Repeat Payments on your card for automatic subscription payments such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The cost estimator feature will help you check the prevailing foreign exchange rate to inform you about the amount of money in KES you need in your M-Pesa wallet.
How to Use MPesa Virtual Card to Make Payments
Now that you have created your card, it’s time to start making international payments. The process of making payments is pretty much the same as the one for physical cards.
- Once you are at the payment checkout
- Enter your 16-digit virtual card number, the expiration date of the Card, and the CVV
- Enter the amount to pay in USD, GBP, etc.
- You will be asked to enter an OTP (one-time password) that is sent to the mobile number linked to your Card. Once you enter the number, your transaction is verified, and you receive a notification.
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MPesa Visa Card Charges
There are no transaction fees charged on the M-Pesa Virtual Visa card. However, when using the M-Pesa virtual Visa card for international payments, Safaricom applies a 3.5% forex markup on the transaction value at the prevailing forex exchange rate.
Pros and Cons of MPesa Visa Card
- Security – MPesa Virtual Visa card has a Dynamic Card Verification Value (CVV) which automatically changes every 30 minutes. This is a security feature to prevent any fraudulent card activities on your Card in case your card details get exposed to the wrong hands.
- Convenience – With your virtual visa card, you can make online payments without needing a physical credit card.
- Accessibility – With your MPesa wallet, you can access the virtual visa card without the need of having a bank account.
- Repeat Payments – You can use your card for automatic subscription payments such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. However, you will have to manually set up the enable repeat payments feature. Once you’ve set up this feature, your MPesa account will be charged automatically in the next billing cycle without the need for you to enter your MPesa pin.
- Limited Acceptance – You can only use the MPESA Virtual Visa card to make international payments to merchants that accept VISA cards such as Amazon, AliExpress, and more. The Card is however not accepted for payments to local online shops such as Kilimall and Jumia. Secondly, the MPesa Visa card has restrictions on some merchant categories. For example, you cannot use the Card to deposit money to platforms for gaming, gambling, or cryptocurrency trading. Lastly, you can suspend your Card anytime you feel your card details have been exposed. Just log in to your MPesa app and tap the Suspend Card button.
- MPesa Visa Card Doesn’t Hold Money – The Card doesn’t hold any money and will instead utilize the money from your MPesa balance.
- The Card doesn’t support Fuliza – Fuliza is not available for M-PESA Virtual Visa Payments. If you have a cash shortfall in your MPesa, then Fuliza cash will not be utilized. And as such you will have to top up your Mpesa balance to ensure your transaction goes through.
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How to Access M-PESA Visa Card via USSD Code
You can access the M-Pesa Virtual Visa Card services by dialing the USSD *334#, selecting Lipa na M-PESA, and the Select M-PESA GlobalPay option.
Try MPesa Virtual Card
Suppose you are looking for a secure and convenient payment method to pay your international merchants without the need for a physical card. In that case, Mpesa Visa Card is an excellent option for you. With MPesa Visa Card, you can manage your finances and make payments anytime, anywhere, provided you have a cellular network.