By Nosa Alekhuogie
Interswitch Group, a digital payment company has collaborated with Kenya’s Credit Bank Plc to launch a multi-currency prepaid card for its African operations, which include Nigeria.
The card is aimed at providing consumers with alternative banking card that allows for safe, secure and seamless electronic transactions.
Country General Manager, Interswitch Kenya, Romana Rajput, stated at the launch that the partnership would be a boost to Interswitch’s issuing business; adding that it was a further proof of the company’s leadership position in the financial services industry on the continent.
“This is definitely a boost to Interswitch’s issuer-support and third-party processing business. We have been around for a while and we intend to keep entrenching digital payments in East Africa and across Africa as a whole. Now, customers will have access to the prepaid cards without necessarily having a bank account. The card can be funded through mobile money and it is widely accepted by merchants for payments and at the ATMs for withdrawals,” Rajput said.
Credit Bank Director, Mr. Jack Ngare, noted that the product wascaimed at increasing financial freedom for the banked, unbanked and under-banked.
“It is our aim to provide our customers with the control and confidence they need to manage their money smartly. Membership of the Visa network will allow the card holders to use it worldwide for payments and withdrawals, and to transact safely online and at ATMs,” Ngare said.
Interswitch’s flexible browser-based card management, issuing and transaction processing system, enables the issuance and management of multi-currency pre-paid card offerings by banks, retailers, corporations and other financial institutions that issue prepaid cards.
The prepaid card is a contactless touch-and-go card that can be used in stores, restaurants, filling stations, or to pay for services anywhere in the world. It can also be used on ATMs to withdraw funds. The card is Chip and PIN-enabled for secure online transactions and is ideal for everyday payments like utility payments or travelling expenses. Additionally, the prepaid card is similar to a debit card but does not need an account attached to it. It is value-based, such that customers can only spend the amount loaded on the card at a time.
Credit Bank’s new partnership with Interswitch further advances the digital payments’ ecosystem across Africa, Nigeria inclusive. The product expansion is part of Visa’s acquisition of a 20 per cent stake in Interswitch last year.