Competition in the payment cards market continues to intensify with global firm MasterCard now targeting university alumni.
This follows a partnership deal between MasterCard, Equity Bank and Kenyatta University to issue cards to the institution’s network of alumni spread across the world.
Kenya University vice chancellor Olive Mugenda said the concept of payments card for the alumni was first proposed in 2010 to help users get discounts when buying goods or services.
“We later thought of turning the discount card into a prepaid card that would allow the card holders to do a lot more transactions,” Prof Mugenda said yesterday during the launch of the card in Nairobi.
The prepaid MasterCard branded card, which is installed with PayPass technology, will be used by holders at points of sale, rather than carrying cash.
The cashless payments concept is slowly catching on in Kenya, with firms, MasterCard and Visa, scrambling for a slice of the market.
The two have been entering into partnerships with financial institutions, merchants and service providers to attract customers to use their cards.
In January this year, Equity Bank said it had begun issuing 5 million MasterCard branded payment cards to its customers, agents and merchants across East Africa to speed up cashless transactions.
The new payment method is also set to lower the cost of transactions associated with handling hard cash such as the cost of security in transportation of the cash and in the production of the money, according to MasterCard East Africa’s vice-president James Wainaina.