, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 29- Integrated telecommunications services provider Telkom Kenya has announced a partnership with Visa and Equity Bank to launch the first ever Debit Card directly linking bank accounts and the Orange mobile money services.
Telkom Kenya’s Chief Executive Officer Mickael Ghossein said the initiative was informed by the need for customers to have additional channels through which they can access their money as well as widening the range of transactions they can make, including ATM withdrawals, merchant payments and online shopping.
Ghossein said the introduction of the Orange Money Visa card was in line with the brand’s promise of providing convenience to customers, to access its unmatched and versatile services through multiple channels.
The security features of the Orange Money Visa Card include a microchip which is virtually impossible to copy. The encryption prevents unauthorized access to information stored on the card, ensuring a safe transaction process by the user
Equity Bank Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi said that the launch of this debit card was a welcome move, more so at a time when cybercrime is on the increase globally.
“The partnership with Telkom Kenya gives those using their Orange lines yet another channel to access their bank accounts from the Orange Money VISA Card which is EMV compliant. The convergence between the two institutions will continue to open up new innovations in accessing banking services through mobile phone technology,” Mwangi said.
Equity Bank was the first bank in the country to install the EMV (Europay-Mastercard-VISA) technology in the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) outlets and point of sales (POS) throughout the country.
Ghossein said that the new channel is expected to grow the number of Orange Money subscribers; bolstered by the value proposition where customers can now use their Orange Money accounts for their local and international transactions within the Visa Network.
“The partnership with Orange and Equity comes as the need for mobile solutions on the continent become more prevalent. Linking Visa’s extensive card network with a mobile application is a logical next step in terms of Visa’s mobile strategy to extend Visa’s reach and bring more people into the formal Financial Services sector,” Visa Country Manager for East Africa Victor Ndlovu said.
Kenya leads the region in the use of plastic cards, with over 7.9 million cards in use while Tanzania and Uganda have 300,000 and 700,000 cards, respectively. Rwanda and Burundi have about 5,000 cards in use.
Visa Cards are an accepted means of transacting all over the world, connecting consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. The Visa network provides global access to over 1.8 million ATMs, 22 million physical merchant outlets and a wide range of online merchants.