Safaricom's M-PESA is getting its own debit card to compete with banks

M-PESA customers will soon be able to use debit cards for quicker transactions. Credit: Reuters/Thomas Mukoya/

Safaricom, parent of the M-PESA mobile money platform, is eyeing a piece of the $13.5 billion in annual transactions in Kenya’s payment cards industry with a new debit card.

The new card, which is in its pilot stage, is largely expected to challenge commercial banks for card commissions. The card is linked to the Lipa na M-PESA (Pay with M-PESA) service, which enables traders and individuals to settle bills at different points of sale across the country.

Safaricom’s M-PESA debit cards and point-of-sale (POS) terminals, leveraging Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, will enable consumers to pay for goods and services quickly on a ‘tap-and-go’ basis.

Read more: Safaricom’s M-Pesa is getting its own debit card to compete with Kenyan banks like Equity Bank — Quartz