Naivas Supermarket in Nairobi has expanded its digital wallet service to avoid giving customers sweets and matchboxes for change due to insufficient coins.
The customers will save money in a virtual account and through a visa enabled reward card that doubles up as a prepaid card, they are able to carry out other VISA related transactions.
Dennis Mbuvi, Senior Technical Writer, CIO East Africa from a previous analysis noted several supermarkets in Nairobi to have been grappling with KSh 1 coin shortages, resulting in some supermarkets offering sweets as a substitute for change lower than KSh 5. Most of the shoppers have not been comfortable with the move. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) who are in charge of currency distribution and circulation have also taken a hand in the matter, asking shoppers to return coins that they leave back home into circulation. Read on...
The card "Naivascard" can be loaded through using MPESA, Airtel Money platform and from any Chase Bank Branch who are the solution providers. According to Jabu Basopa, the Country Manager for Southern and East Africa, Visa, by crediting cash to the card, more Kenyans will be participating in the financial inclusion experienced in the country by building a relationship with the bank. Willy Kimani, the Business Development Manager, Naivas Supermarket says they have set apart a reward float of Ksh. 45 million for the cardholders.
The new deal with Chase Bank and Visa will allow Naivas customers to top up and shop at any Visa enabled physical or online merchant. The card is aimed at giving the user an easy way to manage funds that is both convenient and secure.
The card comes at an ideal time as Kenya's card technology migrates towards chip-enabled technologies. The need from the customers end is also very prudent; Naivas will have an E-Coin facility so customers' change can be loaded directly onto the card as money.
Among other platforms that tops online payment development, Nakumatt Stores in Kenya will soon also launch a multicurrency prepaid EMV Master card. This was from a twitter update i picked.
Lilian Mutegi, from CIO East Africa briefly spoke to Alfred Ng'ang'a, Nakumatt Store, Spokesman on the new Mastercard that will be launched in a few weeks. Who are the partners - MasterCard, KCB and DTB
What percentage of financial inclusion in Kenya do you predict with this card - It is hard to predict that since more than 98% of Nakumatt Smart Card holders already do hold a bank account. Once launched, Whats the uptake like, any quantitative case studies? Pilot projects have you done before coming up with the multi-currency merchant card; Predicting the uptake is tricky since the card is not yet launched. However, the necessary tests have all been positive. At the same time, it's instructive to note that with 1million active members, the Nakumatt Smart card as it exists today is the most successful loyalty scheme in Africa.
Briefly how it works - A customer holding a Nakumatt Smart Card currently will get a replacement card. The new card will not just be Loyalty card but also a prepaid MasterCard which allows the customer to load cash and commence immediate transactions. Customers holding the Nakumatt Global Prepaid MasterCard will earn point from their transactions' at any of the more than 33million merchant points that accept MasterCard worldwide. Such points will be redeemable exclusively at all 40 Nakumatt outlets and selected partner outlets.
Peter generates technical content for CIO East Africa and the International Data Group News Service, he also contributes to PC World and Computer World. Peter is classically trained in computing and information management, and he is currently pursing an MBA program in Management Information Systems at the University of Nairobi, @peternalika