Kenya Commercial Bank is working with Visa to bring the first mobile payment solution to its customers in East Africa that utilizes a quick-response code for e-commerce and in-store transactions.

The introduction of mVisa will reduce errors that occur when consumers input payment details for e-commerce purchases through mobile devices, allowing users to instead scan a QR code and enter a PIN to complete a transaction, the bank says.

KCB, of Nairobi, is currently testing the mVisa service in Rwanda, seeking to increase chances for financial inclusivity across the region, Dennis Njau, KCB Bank head of channels, said in a Jan. 20 press release.

"mVisa promises a new dawn by unlocking greater opportunities to merchants and consumers alike simply by use of the mobile phone," Njau said.

Rwanda on a map
IMAGE: Getty Images

The introduction of mVisa to the banking industry of East Africa provides a new level of merchant acquiring business in the region, allowing smaller marketplaces and mobile traders to become merchants able to accept payments, Njau added.

Person-to-person payments services are likely to increase through Visa Direct as part of the partnership, and KCB says the door will be open to include consumers who are not KCB customers.

While accelerating less use of cash, the mVisa and P-to-P options represent new opportunities for small and micro merchants in Kenya who may not even have a physical office, but are "busy building their ventures" through mobile technology, the bank said.

Kenya and surrounding African countries have long made use of mobile money through the M-Pesa system.

Last week, Mastercard introduced 2Kuze, a mobile commerce format for farmers in the region to better communicate with marketplace buyers to sell their produce.

In the same manner as mVisa, the 2Kuze digital platform provides an easier way to initiate and accept payments while also helping merchants build a transaction record that would be valuable when seeking a micro loan from the bank.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry