B –PESA rolled out in Tanzania

Smart Banking Solutions Limited (SBS) has introduced the first prepaid bank grade closed loop card of its kind in Tanzanian market, named B-PESA.

Speaking shortly before unveiling the B-PESA card at a ceremony held in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, the SBS Managing Director Mr Gustav Vermaas said the card allows a customer to transact at any B-PESA branded merchants, member banks and B-Pesa branded ATM’s.

“This card allows you to have the flexibility of card to card transfers, withdraw cash, deposit cash, pay bills and payment of purchases at B-PESA branded merchants.

The B-PESA card is not a credit card as it does not provide a line of credit and it is not a debit card either as it is not linked to a bank account, however, it is managed through its own electronic financial wallet that is sponsored by member banks.

“B-PESA is secure as the card utilizes the latest chip and pin security methods to protect against unauthorized transactions. It increases safety as it reduces the requirement to carry large sums of cash and is convenient as there is a large network of B-PESA branded merchants and member banks.

The consumer will have convenient access to the B-PESA card, as it will be issued instantly off the shelf through the same B-Pesa branded network.

Mr Vermaas said the introduction of the B-PESA card would help by reducing circulation of cash in the Tanzanian market and transform the country into a cash-lite society once fully implemented.

He mentioned some examples of the B-PESA cards being rolled out into the market, being the generic B-PESA card for general use, the MAFUTA card for fuel consumers and the ADA Card for all school fees and school related expenses. “We also have the B-Pesa Salary Card and the Mafao Card coming soon.

With the Mafao card pensioners can receive their pension payments directly into their card wherever they are and then spend at B-Pesa branded merchants and ATM’s.

Speaking at the same event, SBS Board Member, Dr Edmund Mndolwa, said the B-Pesa product was both a card and a mobile wallet, which caters for the entire supply chain ecosystem, starting from the consumer to the retailer to the distributor and finally to the manufacture.

“You can access your card from your mobile phone as well as from the internet. B-Pesa is a community and loyalty driven product which focuses on specific payment opportunities in a specific demographic group,” he said.

He mentioned that the B-Pesa value proposition is about creating a solution for every layer of the value chain, thus, creating an environment of sustainability, security and convenience.

Dr Mdolwa said the introduction of this payment system would create substantial benefit to Tanzanian traders as they will not need to look for foreign currency when buying goods abroad, because B-PESA will soon be accepted at all UnionPay International points worldwide, after B-PESA and UnionPay signed an agreement of cooperation during the event.

Many banks have expressed interest in partnering with SBS to start issuing B-PESA cards to their customers.

Commercial Bank of Africa (Tanzania) Limited Managing Director, Mr Yohane Kaduma and The People Bank of Zanzibar Deputy Managing Director, Mr Ame Makame expressed their excitement about the new product and its attributes. They indicated their desire to swiftly launch the product in their environment.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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