Visa has rolled out a new service that allows consumers of a Visa-led bank partnership to send money domestically using mVisa without paying transaction fees in Kenya.

The free person-to-person (P2P) transactions is currently available with nine Kenyan banks including Barclays Bank, Cooperative Bank, Ecobank, Family Bank, KCB Bank, National Bank of Kenya, NIC Bank, Prime Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.

Diamond Trust Bank and Stanbic will soon go live with mVisa and then support P2P money transfer in the country.

Now, users can use mVisa to send money directly from their bank to a recipient’s bank account regardless of whether they use a smart phone or feature phone.

Transactions are processed through Visa’s global network, VisaNet, which taps the scale, security and reliability of Visa to mobile payments in emerging markets.

The banks’ customers can now use mVisa at thousands of merchant locations including Nakumatt, KenolKobil, IMAX Theaters, EatOut, Zucchini, Little Cab, Kenya Airways, and Bata across the country.

Furthermore, mVisa will soon be accepted at thousands of merchants aggregated through Direct Pay Online and Jambo Pay.

Visa group country manager for Sub-Saharan Africa Andrew Torre said: “This is a significant move especially when you consider how much Kenyans spend on transaction fees for mobile money transfers every year.

“With 38.9 million active mobile phone subscriptions and Ksh. 515.9 billion1 in person-to-person money transfers within the last quarter of 2016, mobile money payments have become an integral part of Kenyans’ lives.

“There is a strong sense of community here with people often sending funds to family, friends and even strangers in times of need, celebration or crisis. We hope to enhance this by eliminating barriers such as transaction costs, while giving customers a convenient, secure and affordable experience.

“We are excited to continue to build momentum around mVisa to digitize payments with a scalable and interoperable solution that is not limited by the mobile network, bank, or type of handset used.”

Currently, mVisa is live in Kenya, India, Rwanda and Egypt while plans to roll out in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Vietnam are being considered.