Telkom Kenya has today partnered with Equity Bank to launch a VISA pre-paid debit card which is linked to Orange Money accounts. These services are not new since Safaricom has a similar pre-paid card with I&M bank while Airtel Kenya has a similar idea but virtual card in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank and Mastercard.

The pre-paid card will enable Orange Money clients use their card to conduct purchases through thousands of Merchants worldwide as well as easily carry their money around.

The major difference between the Safaricom pre-paid VISA card and Orange pre-paid VISA card is that the latter has a microchip hence more secure than the former. Usage of the Orange pre-paid VISA card will also attract loyalty points rewarded to the holder.

The card will not have restrictions on the maximum or minimum deposits to be held as it is linked to the customer’s personal account, according to Telkom Kenya CEO, Mikhael Ghossein. He added that “the only limit in the transaction will be the amount of money that you have in your account.”

Victor Ndlovu, VISA Country Manager for East Africa says that  Kenya leads the region in the use of plastic cards, with over 7.9 million cards in use while Tanzania and Uganda have 300,000 and 700,000 cards, respectively. Rwanda and Burundi have about 5,000 cards in use.

The Visa network provides global access to over 1.8 million ATMs, 22 million physical merchant outlets and a wide range of online merchants.