Branch are the latest to illustrate this point.
The company announced a partnership with Visa this month. The mobile lending app says it has partnered with the payments giant to allow disbursements to virtual Visa cards.
Visa has long struggled to compete with M-PESA. Its mobile payments solution m-Visa has struggled to gain traction on the Kenyan market. Visa fears that this could be a harbinger of things to come.
Credit might well have been the missing ingredient all along. By enabling disbursements through Visa “virtual cards”, Visa will loosen Safaricom owned M-PESA’s chokehold on disbursements I the mobile lending space. Consequently this may break Safaricom’s virtual monopoly over mobile credit and payments.
One might well argue that mobile lender Branch is partnering with Visa to issue a virtual credit card. Which begs the question, what’s a virtual credit card or a mobile loan anymore even? As illustrated by the Apple Card, it may just be the case that the words we use to distinguish different forms of credit or payments in the analogue world will have little meaning in this new world of digital finance.