Safaricom launches M-Pesa Prepay VISA Safari Card.

This is probably the best news in Kenya’s Internet space since the arrival of broadband! For the longest time, it has been largely a cumbersome and expensive process for Kenyan Internet users to buy products and services online. Usually, the process of doing so required you to have a bank account and a credit card which is out of the reach of many Kenyan’s, and not just the so called “unbanked”.

So, its come as a breath fresh air for many including me in the news today that Safaricom has launched an M-Pesa backed VISA debit card in Kenya. The Safaricom M-Pesa Prepay Visa Safari Card (that’s quite a mouthful by the way!) enables one to use their M-Pesa account to make purchases online as well as access over 28 million VISA outlets globally.

The new VISA card is available from Safaricom outlets nationwide and is being supported through a strategic partnership with I&M Bank. More information on the new Safari Card can be found on both the Safaricom and I&M Bank web sites.

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  1. Fuzzie
    February 9, 2011 at 7:11 am — Reply

    This is the best news ever….Hope the rates are not daylight robbery like the ones these crazy banks charge us!

    • Gikima
      April 21, 2011 at 2:25 am — Reply

      The Safaricom M-Pesa VISA Card is quite affordable. It costs less than 3 dollars per year. the services are also effecient.


  2. Jaffar Mohamed
    February 9, 2011 at 8:09 am — Reply

    Throwing MPesa into the mix is what makes this card a really nice thing. I have personally had the Toucan Prepaid from Bank of Africa (BOA) and the Nakumatt Prepaid from I&M Bank. While BOA’s customer service and Internet portal sucks big time, the I&M service is good and their online portal for the cards is well maintained with important data on usage.

    Once MPesa’s API is out, i guess the e-commerce plane will be ready for take-off.

  3. February 9, 2011 at 9:25 am — Reply

    Great news indeed, Moses. It’a chance to grow online business and take Kenya deep into the internet age. It was impossible to buy a simple $15 template. It offers opportunities for those who dare. Sasa twaweza!

  4. February 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm — Reply

    Wow, now this is just a true life saver, EXACTLY what i need to make those overseas online payments much easier and convenient for me.

    I found using my bank’s visa branded debit card quite inconvenient for making online payments since i am always forced to go all the way to the bank to deposit the EXACT amount of cash i am going to pay..i never deposit more since am always on the lookout never to get ripped!

    After making the payments, at times there might be delays before receiving a confirmation letter from where i made the purchase, just to be sure..i am forced again to head over to an ATM machine n check the balance to see if the transaction went through or not. Internet banking at my bank comes at a cost and i don’t see myself signing up for this service anytime soon.

    So with this new visa branded ATM from safaricom, all my problems will be solved..and best of all it only costs Ksh 250 to purchase the kit and have it activated instantly!

    Am so getting this first thing tomorrow!

  5. February 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm — Reply

    I would like to the debit Visa card, is it possible to apply for it online?

  6. February 17, 2011 at 8:44 am — Reply

    Wow!!! I felt jealous for being excluded when I desired to purchase variety of items from Ebay etc.

    Paypal has had its issues regarding business transaction as far as Kenya was concerned.

    I am a happy man and thanks to Safaricom for making my dream/our dream as kenyan come true.


  7. pnkraymond
    February 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm — Reply

    can i be paid funds into the i&m account and withdraw through mpesa,does it help in anyway with paypal?

  8. Any Mouse
    February 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm — Reply

    I tell you, this is the best news ever for me. It is going to literally transform my life. I have an account with a local bank that do not issue credit/debit cards, due to the nature of the account and I am in the midst of transacting some very important business but can not proceed due to the above limitation. This is certainly a very laudable move. Though I am out of the country right now, I will for sure continue being a loyal SAFCOM customer.

    Surprisingly, I only came to know of it through a newspaper that was brought back from home by a friend. None of the mainstream papers carried this very important story in their online editions – at least I didn’t come across it.

    Thanks Moses too.

  9. nich
    February 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm — Reply

    Awsome news, just like to find out, what are the transaction charges? (if there are any) I know mpesa’s but what about I&M’s?
    Thank you in advance

  10. ngure
    March 26, 2011 at 5:40 am — Reply

    So now, Kenyans can now spend their hard earned money buying goods online from manufacturers in other countries. Can Kenyans earn money by selling their locally made goods online? What Kenyans need most is a bank/system that will integrate the worldwide accepted PayPal so that Kenyans can be able to withdraw PayPal money through local banks.

  11. Kisher
    March 30, 2011 at 12:08 pm — Reply

    The invention is perfect. Kenyans have waited for long to have this product. The problem with Safcom is that since Micheal Joseph left, there has been a general go slow in enlightening the masses about this beauty of a product.

    Are waiting for Airtel Kenya to launch the airtel 1time shopping card? Despite the transitions Safcom is undergoing, it shud keep it eyes on the ball!

  12. […] — I&M MPesa Prepay Visa Safari Card In February this year, Safaricom partnered with I&M bank to provide a prepaid VISA card that users could load via their MPesa account. According to the […]

  13. November 9, 2011 at 6:15 am — Reply

    I agree with you Moses. Safaricom/I&M Bank prepaid visa card is the best thing that has ever happened to internet users in Kenya. Imagine this card can be loaded with upto ksh. 500,000 and loading can be done very easily via your Mpesa pay bill option just by paying bill to business number 541541, account number being your card number.
    The beauty of it is that you can limit the amount to be used per transaction through the I&M Bank web application.
    Previously, i was using a credit card for my online transaction and my monthly limit was very low. After switching to Mpesa prepaid card, my life is not complicated any more.

  14. Bobby
    November 17, 2011 at 10:44 am — Reply

    This is awesome news.Does anyone know how i can use the card to withdraw paypal payments into the Kenyan space? Please someone inform me.Email me: wahoonetwork@gmail.com

  15. James Rabala
    February 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm — Reply

    It is one the greatest mileage the country Kenya has made. This is an achievement towards the vision 2030 and it should be embrassed by all force.

  16. October 18, 2012 at 6:15 am — Reply

    This is a good idea though kenyans living out of the country who still use m-pesa through their home banking eg KCB how can they acces the services like paying collage fees in uk or us if only I&M is the only bank that provides the services.kindly respond to this.

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