Safaricom revealed a tie-up with global transaction giant Visa on developing digital payment services for the operator’s m-Pesa platform and expanding e-commerce options for merchants.

In a statement, the companies said the move would “seek to eliminate barriers to global commerce and offer an expanded set of mobile e-commerce capabilities to merchants and consumers by enabling secure and convenient cashless payment solutions”.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is said to cover products aimed at the operator’s 24 million m-Pesa customers, 173,000 merchants in Kenya and more than 61 million merchant locations across Visa’s global network.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa pointed to potential opportunities for its customers around global e-commerce, though further detail on the scope of the products set to be developed was not disclosed.

Visa East Africa VP Corine Mbiaketcha added: “We envision that our combined efforts in enabling seamless and interoperable financial services and products will eventually drive much desired financial inclusion in our communities.”

The move comes less than a month after Safaricom took joint control of the m-Pesa IP and brand alongside Vodacom, having bought the asset from affiliate Vodafone.