Prepaid cards expanding rapidly in Africa

prelin —  February 28, 2013 — Leave a comment


While mobile banking has its roots in Africa there is also a massive rise in the usage of prepaid cards in the rest of the continent in order to help students and the underbanked.

Chase Bank Limited in Kenya and UNISCOO (University Students Community Organization) have announced a partnership to launch a MasterCard prepaid card available to its members. The UNISCOO card will allow users to top up and shop at any MasterCard 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.

According to the Finscope Rwanda 2012 survey, financial exclusion in Kenya stands at 33%. This indicates an opportunity for financial institutions to extend financial inclusion to the youth who have previously been excluded from formal banking. The youth are now being offered an opportunity to be economically empowered and enjoy the benefits of electronic payments in ways that are congruent with their lifestyles and demands.

Topping up the card can be done at any Chase Bank Branch as well as through M-Pesa and Airtel Money at no additional cost. The card also acts as an ID card for all UNISCOO members and with the UNISCOO Pre-paid MasterCard card students will have access to discounts at partner outlets

This is a really fascinating development as not only does it allow for consumers to have access to set amounts of cash but also to benefit from the likes of discounts and using the card as an ID. These two innovations alone make the card a worthwhile service and we can’t wait to see these types of cards taking off in Africa.


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