M-Pesa Receives Global Compliance, Set to Accept Card Payments

Update: Safaricom has reiterated in a statement that it won’t be offering Physical Cards, rather customers will now have access to tap-to-pay options, and merchants can receive both online and in-person card payments.

Safaricom has reached a new milestone in financial technology by achieving Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance, as announced by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). This achievement is a testament to Safaricom’s commitment to transforming from a telecom company to a technology company by 2025, further enhancing its role as a global payment facilitator for partners like Google, Uber, and Microsoft.

Safaricom’s accreditation with PCI DSS Certification underlines the company’s dedication to maintaining robust security measures in the digital landscape. Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, emphasized the company’s focus on innovation and the importance of security in all their operations. “This certification for M-PESA is a recognition of our dedication to safeguarding the financial transactions of our customers,” Ndegwa stated.

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With this approval, Safaricom is set to broaden its payment solutions significantly. Customers will now have access to tap-to-pay options, and merchants can receive both online and in-person card payments. This development is not only a leap forward for Safaricom but also for FinTechs and financial institutions, which can now utilize Safaricom’s card processing capabilities to provide comprehensive mobile and card payment solutions.

Creating a Regional Payment Switch System

This certification positions Safaricom as one of the few institutions in Africa capable of creating a regional payment switch system while ensuring the security of customers, merchants, and partners’ payment data. It allows Safaricom to enhance its API capabilities, fostering the growth of developers on the M-PESA platform and expanding its portfolio of mobile money services and payment solutions.

Mr. Ndegwa reassured customers and partners of the integrity and security of Safaricom’s processes. “Our customers can rest assured that our processes ensure that their data is protected at all times,” he said. This development means that Safaricom’s partners can access more innovative and secure solutions for their clientele.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a globally recognized standard that offers a comprehensive framework to safeguard sensitive customer information during transactions. It ensures the implementation of robust controls and security measures to protect against data breaches, fraud, and unauthorized access.

Safaricom’s achievement of PCI DSS compliance is a significant step in its journey towards becoming a global tech company. This milestone aligns with its mission to transform lives through innovative payment solutions, offering customers and businesses more options and additional convenience. Safaricom remains committed to continuously improving its security measures and staying up-to-date with the evolving threat landscape, ensuring that the well-being of its customers is always a top priority.

Previous Version of Article:

M-Pesa Gears Up to Introduce Physical VISA Cards

Safaricom has taken a significant leap forward in the financial technology space. The company has announced its achievement of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance. This milestone comes as an expansion of its strategic partnership with Visa, a global leader in digital payments. This development promises to transform M-PESA, Safaricom’s mobile money service, by introducing card issuing and acquisition capabilities.

Virtual to Physical

Last year, Safaricom and Visa unveiled their collaboration to introduce Virtual Cards within the M-Pesa Super App. These virtual cards, linked to M-Pesa wallets, have already revolutionized online transactions, facilitating payments for services like Netflix and online shopping. Customers have enjoyed the ease and security of using these virtual cards for various online transactions where cards are accepted.

Building on this success, Safaricom’s latest announcement marks a significant extension of the Safaricom-Visa partnership. This evolution will see the introduction of physical M-Pesa cards. These cards will be linked to M-Pesa accounts, allowing for global operability. Users can use these cards anywhere in the world, significantly expanding M-Pesa’s reach and utility.

This latest advancement positions M-PESA to act as a Payment Service Provider (PSP), a notable progression from its roots as a mobile money service. This transformation is set to redefine the scope and capabilities of M-PESA.

The announcement comes as M-Pesa has also been gearing up to introduce repeat payments through standing orders.

Insights from M-Pesa Africa:

In a Twitter (now X) Thread, M-Pesa Africa emphasized its commitment to transforming lives through innovative payment solutions. Achieving PCI DSS compliance is a critical step in this journey. This compliance enables M-PESA to offer tap-to-pay card payments, broadening payment options for over 60 million customers, 5 million businesses, and 100,000 developers across its ecosystem.

This initiative empowers users to receive mobile payments, both online and in-person, from customers worldwide. Moreover, M-PESA will offer a convenient payment solution for tourists across the eight M-PESA markets, allowing them to pair their Visa card with M-PESA for seamless transactions at almost one million businesses.

FinTechs and financial institutions stand to benefit immensely from this development. They can leverage M-PESA’s card processing capabilities to provide comprehensive mobile and card payment solutions. The partnership between Safaricom’s M-PESA and Visa, currently offering virtual payment cards, is set to reach new heights with this initiative, further integrating over 60 million customers and 925,000 merchants across various markets into the global financial ecosystem.


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