Visa, Branch $170M partnership could be a game changer in the mobile loans and payments arena

As credit goes digital, old distinctions between different forms of credit are becoming blurred. Mobile Loans become credit cards. Credit cards become mobile loans (See Apple Card). “Virtual” cards abound. Branch are the latest to illustrate this point. The company announced a partnership with Visa this month. The mobile lending app says it has partnered […]

No card number. No CVV. No expiry date. No expiration date. No signature. Apple reimagines the Credit Card

Amidst a cacophony of new product announcements, Apple released something that might just be truly special today. Touted as a privacy aware credit card built for the iPhone, the Apple Card is built into the Apple Wallet app on iPhone, offering customers a familiar experience with Apple Pay and the ability to manage their card […]

What Airtel’s win in petition to have Safaricom open up its Mpesa network means

Last month, Airtel Kenya won a petition against rival telco Safaricom. Airtel had charged that Safaricom were enjoying undue advantage by enforcing an exclusivity clause in its contracts with its MPesa agent network that barred MPesa agents from engaging in business with competing mobile network operators. Earlier in the month, the Communications Authority of Kenya […]

Bitcoin: A primer Part I

Countless Bitcoin primers exist on the Internet today. What, with the increased interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Flawed as they may be in the present, it is becoming apparent with each passing day that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are going to be an important part of our digital future. A lot of these Bitcoin […]

It’s Day One of Cash Light Public Transport payments in Nairobi, Don’t Panic, here is where to get a BebaPay card

Officially at least, cash light public transport payments in Nairobi kick off today. In reality though , very few commuters have acquired cards, and many are clueless as how the new regulations work. Either way, looks like most people got to work this morning without the need for cards. Here are few places where you […]

It’s all systems go for cash light public transport payments tomorrow, Gov’t insists

Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli is confident that cash light public transport payments will go into effect in Nairobi tomorrow without a hitch amid widespread public uncertainty and confusion. Questions still linger over interoperability between different cards vendors, with commuters fearing that they will end up having to acquire and carry multiple cards. Recently, commuters […]

BitPesa hosting World Cup Watching Party, beta launch of service

Local Bitcoin remittances startup BitPesa will be hosting a World Cup Watching Party at Brew Bistro on Ngong Road this evening. The event will also see the beta launch of BitPesa’s service. BitPesa will provide bitings and bitcoins to the first 50 people to show up.

With the launch of its MVNO, mobile money service, Equity is responding to an existential threat

Equity Bank’s most recent foray into mobile banking, the launch of its own mobile network might be interpreted as yet another example of the bank’s impressive innovation record or C.E.O extraordinaire James Mwangi’s knack for good business. Some might wonder why a bank like Equity would want to go into the already overcrowded mobile money […]

May in Payments: You can now pay for your power in Bitcoin in South Africa, Africa’s first Bitcoin ATM and Equity Bank finally receives a MVNO license

The month of May was full of big news on the payments front all over Africa. Here’s my monthly roundup of happenings on the payment scene: You can now pay for your power in Bitcoin in South Africa. According to local tech news site TechCentral.za, South African firm Invirohub, a smart meter developer, has developed […]

Airtel Money Visa Card : First impressions

I picked up my Airtel Money Visa Card a couple of weeks ago. The card, being touted by local banker Chase Bank and MNO Airtel, allows you to withdraw your Airtel Money funds at 30 Chase Bank ATMs and over 800 Kenswitch ATMs as well as 7000 Visa ATMs worldwide. The card also enables you […]