What's Happening at Safaricom? RE: VISA/MPESA Virtual Card/M-PESA Global Issues

Some issues with MPESA Global I have gathered so far:

  1. Card doesn’t work with some merchants in the US. When that is done, they still take your money. The issue is that, unlike bank cards that show you which party received payment (basically better reconciliation), the virtual card doesn’t. So it is hard to even show evidence to them via an email screenshot for them to look into.
  2. Their dispute form is not working. If you call, they will tell you to use Chrome even when you are using just that.
  3. Customer care is at its worst. It would appear that the agents in charge have no clue about how the two (VISA and M-PESA) co-exist.
  4. Care agents say investigations can take up to 45 days. Banks sort this issue under one week.
  5. Some people are not happy that they get charged on the automatic conversion and then have to pay a forex charge. Bank cards don’t have any extra charge. Just the amount at the bank’s exchange rate and that’s it.
  6. All the experiments we have done (Netflix, Moviebox Pro) show that the banks are cheaper than Safaricom. My Netflix costs 1450 on Loop. It costs 1500 when I pay with the virtual card. Still, it is a good option for the likes of Amazon, B&H, or AliExpress when the MPESA checkout fails. So, either way, the money was Safaricom’s.

Safaricom guys are just being lazy. There is something happening over there that we don’t know about, and it is further amplified by the tens of stories we have about the M-PESA App security issues. These are too many reports to assume as isolated incidents.

  1. A majority of merchants in the US DON’T accept payment methods outside the US. But they will still deduct the money pending verification of card’s owner before reversing the cash.

  2. That was discussed here in the forums and it’s because of that additional fee that Safaricom imposes as a percentage of every transaction. Are you surprised by it?

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