mVisa - The new way to pay on mobile

So recently National Bank of Kenya (NBK) updated their android banking app and i saw two new additions on its app menu i.e. mVisa and PesaLink. My interest here is on mVisa. What is mVisa? Is it like a soft copy of a normal Visa card with all its functionalities ama? This would be really exciting not to mention convenient. I need someone to expound more on this.

Meanwhile here are some screenshots of mVisa functionalities as displayed on the NBK app

Landing Page
This is what you see when you select the mVISA option in the app. At the bottom you get 4 options

  1. Pay with mVisa
  2. Send Money
  3. Withdraw Cash
  4. Manage my mVisa

1) Pay with mVISA
On this page you get 3 pay options
a) Scan QR Code
b) Type mVisa id
c) Tap NFC

2) Send Money
Send from payee list

Send to a new payee

3) Withdraw Cash
Still has the same options as pay with mVisa

4) Manage my mVisa

Will try and hook it up with my paypal and google account i see how it goes and update on the same

NFC I’m sold

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Are there many places in Kenya where you can use NFC for payment? BTW if you are into NFC I saw this really cool finger ring that can save your NFC card data. Every time you need to pay for something all you do is to tap the ring on the POS sensor and you’re good to go.

Yes. At any POS terminal you can use NFC. Remember the cards we used to pay bus fare with before the matatu owners association fought against its use and won the case in court? Something like Beba pay can’t remember well the other cards.

Try turning on your NFC and walk inside a bank or cashier, the phone connects with the NFC equipment when you are close to the cashiers or tellers. So I think implementation ndiyo haikua bado imefanywa.

I think NFC holds a lot of promise in payments esp in concerts and events,if someone can get a way to link NFC wristbands to Smartphones without additional hardware and ensure secure seamless payments with many merchants,it can be a no brainer for use in purchasing event tickets and other goods and services offered in these events,one can pay for a drink or a gift in a stall by just taping and deduction is automatically made from a prepaid account that has the amount loaded in.

Btw whats the difference between mVISA and Pesalink for interbank transfers.

NFC was skipped and Ultrasound is in testing for concert payments. Ultrasound is much faster than NFC and does not require the “touch” that NFC does.

Just noticed it on the KCB App too. Unfortunately, I am not able to try it out. (Not a personal account)

NFC is a major security risk because of the absence of authentication, a tap and payment is made. There was some time back people used to go to trains and steal cash with NFC PDQs. Since it just requires proximity to transfer cash.

That’s why PIN n Chip is a thing currently with debit and credit cards.

Very true. I have always considered NFC more of a data transmission tool because it’s faster than Bluetooth. However WiFi is becoming the preferred file sharing channel because it’s on all smartphones by default. Adding NFC chips increases the cost of devices and it’s for uses that are largely redundant.

How are we faring here, anyone ever used mVisa here, or do your local stores have mVisa?

The lack of interoperability between various payment methods will kill off almost all but the most resilient (read well-financed) platforms. I don’t expect the average retailer to bother having like 10 different payment options when only around a quarter see any significant usage.

Where are these budding entrepreneurs to create a platform like PayPal that supports all major payment methods in one package? Personally that’s what I’d go for because I don’t bother splitting my cash to fund a thousand different accounts just for convenience. In fact that is the opposite of convenience. It’s plain ol’ cash and two versatile cards for me and no more.

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This is what I was saying when I commented about Naivas Pay.

That the solution by Interswitch already accepts Mpesa the same way as Mpesa 1Tap, cards and cash. I was also told other mobile money platforms are coming, that includes mVisa.

Another solution that works that same way, and was introduced before Naivaspay is Mobitill.

Pesapal is also getting there with Pesapal Sabi.

I agree with you @Peter_Ngure, these are the solutions that work. Providers need to meet consumers where they are.

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Thanks for the list @martingicheru. Is there something that is consumer-oriented? I’m talking about carrying around one card or app and being able to pay anywhere with it regardless of whether it is a mobile money platform, online payment, or settling bills. I am currently using PayPal for any online payments but have a challenge locally particularly with mobile money because I don’t use Mpesa. Equitel is growing but there are some places that only accept Mpesa.

i havent used mVISA even once,i guess i havent found enough incentive to use it compared to alternatives like MPESA

I haven’t come across anywhere this is being used. Was at Burger King and they are yet to support 1 Tap (their paybill is meeeh) so I wonder who does

The franchise at Next Gen Mall, it’s owners are there what it seems like weekly yet I’m not sure they listen to customer concerns.

Fast food places should be pioneering instant pay methods…

It’s almost a year since this launched in Kenya, is it anywhere close to getting mainstream?

For those who use it, when did you last use it? What’s the frequency?

i have never used this service,its never made any sense for me…

Still haven’t used it, despite trying to do so actively.