Visa partnered with four banks in Kenya to launch its mVisa mobile application enabling point-of-sale transactions in the country.
The app will initially be limited to facilitate transactions for people with accounts at the four banks, with partners including KCB Group and Co-operative Bank of Kenya.
Unveiled by the credit card giant a year ago with a debut in India, mVisa enables consumers to pay for goods and services by scanning a QR code on a smartphone or entering a merchant number into their feature phones.
According to the Financial Times, the service also extends to allow people to send money to each other’s accounts, and could mount a challenge to the dominant mPesa system.
M-Pesa, launched by operator Safaricom, has helped Kenya become one of the most attractive markets for mobile money.
FT‘s report said mVisa should reduce the cost of remittances from overseas, and for businesses, automatically build up a library of transactions to help banks provide services such as loans.
Visa reportedly is hoping to sign up another eight banks to its service in the next year, expanding into Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.
It was also in advanced discussions with Nigerian banks last month to bring the service there by the end of 2016.