While other Visa cards require customers to have bank accounts, NationHela customers will not need to have a bank account and will instead use their mobile numbers.

Also unlike a conventional debit card, the NationHela card will allow users to transfer money from their PayPal account, an online payment platform, direct to their card.

This feature will be a big boost to individuals doing online outsourcing services as major firms pay them via PayPal.

“Users can send money directly from a Paypal account into the NationHela account… this is part of NMG’s efforts to support commerce,” said Linus Gitahi NMG’s chief executive officer.

Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Kenya will provide the technology to support the service as well as provide customer care centres to handle inquiries.

“We have been in the card business for the past four to five years, the experience gained will enable us to deliver excellent customer service to NationHela clients,” said Nasim Devji, chief executive officer of Diamond Trust Bank.

The bank will also hold money deposited into NationHela accounts, ensuring its safety. A person who loses their card can immediately block it using their mobile phone.

People living abroad can transfer money from their credit or debit cards directly into a NationHela card. The recipient will be able to access the money within minutes.

Customers can also transfer money from their M-Pesa accounts directly into the NationHela card. Once a customer receives money they get a text message notification.

A NationHela customer can withdraw their money through the over 8,000 Visa ATMs and outlets in Kenya, or if they are abroad, in over 30 million Visa certified outlets.

One can also transfer money from one NationHela account to another. Customers can also make over-the-counter withdrawals from any DTB bank.

“Recipients no longer need to travel long distances to a money transfer agent or queue to receive cash since they can access it instantly on their mobile phones or prepaid cards,” said Mr Gitahi.

The NationHela card will be retailing at Ksh500 ($5.9) and is available at DTB’s 40 branches and in any Nakumatt and Uchumi supermarkets across the Kenya.

Source: The EastAfrican