KENYA’S AFRIPAY OFFERS PREPAID CARDS FOR E-COMMERCE
Q: We all know that it’s difficult - or impossible - for people in Africa to get credit cards. Tell us how your system works, how much it costs and how long your cards are valid for.
Afripay acts as an interface between the credit card companies and consumers wishing to buy online.
Our service is a prepaid Internet purchase system. Afripay enables cash transactions over the Internet, with no limitation to age, credit status, or geographical location. Afripay facilitates this without compromising the confidentiality, security, or privacy of the end user. We offer two solutions namely:
i) Online Purchase Assistance: This is where a client would select an item online, advise us to price it, determine shipping and customs if applicable then prepay for the item and Afripay repesentatives would buy the item and arrange shipping and eventual delivery to the client.
ii) Afripay Virtual Visa: This is a valid Visa International Debit card that can be used for online transactions anywhere Visa is accepted. In this case, a client would apply for the accuont, once the account was setup, the Client would then "load" funds onto the account and transaction at their convenience.
Q: You have offices in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. Can only people living in those countries use your services?
We are not limited by geographical boundaries. If potential clients from other regions can wire account setup and load fees to us we can create and provide them with the virtual Visa account. We look at delivery on a case by case basis if the purchase of the item is outside our reach.
Q: The world of banking these days is full of restrictions. What proof of identity do you require before issuing your cards?
A copy of the National ID or passport is needed.
Q: Can your cards be used for purchasing anything on the Internet?
Yes, anywhere Visa cards are accepted
Q: You also offer a forward shipping service from your billing/delivery address in the US. How much does this service cost?
The shipping address comes as the default address on the Visa card at no extra cost. However our repackaging and forwarding service from our Baltimore office to the destination is done on a case to case basis.
Q: What has the rate of uptake been of your cards in the three countries that you operate in so far?
Both services have been hailed upon by IT experts and novices as something very timely and needed within the region. However the more we market ourselves the more we realize that our clients would like to go beyond browsing and actually want to purchase items online- Books, perfumes, domains, services, etc.. even the simple service like expanding a Yahoo or msn email account to a permanent account for $19.95 is proving to be a highly demanded service.
Q: Do you have plans to operate in any other African countries?
Q: On your website you also offer merchant accounts for ecommerce sites in Kenya. Can you tell us more details about this service and how much it costs?
The merchant account program is still in development. We expect to complete agreements with our gateway provider and bank soon. We are working on getting a solid product out as we have observed that this is a service that is long overdue for most vendors in Kenya: many would like to begin selling their wares on the Internet but have limitations.