Nigerian electronic payment company, Verve, has entered the Kenyan market to provide a local mobile applications payment option.
Verve is the first African card that competes with Visa and MasterCard.
Already, it has signed deals with Kenya Commercial Bank in Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda to spur the card’s uptake.
“East Africa is a host to some of the fastest growing economies on the continent. We want to tap into rapidly expanding trade flows,” said Mr Charles Ifedi, Verve International CEO.
Verve has over 40 banks in West Africa issuing the cards.
The firm plans to offer credit and debit cards as well as mobile payments through applications by 2016.
"The card uses the chip technology to enhance security, said the country manager," Mr Richard Coate.
The card faces stiff competition from MasterCard and Visa, which have deeply penetrated the market.
Verve, however, says it targets universities and wants to provide Higher Education Loan Board cards for students.
It also targets parents who need credit to raise school fees.
The firm also connects users to a wider market that comprises 185 countries hooked to Discover Financial Service, a US card payments company.