For those readers not familiar with DPO Group, it is a 2006 payments fintech startup based in Dublin, Ireland that services sub-saharan Africa. The company also has offices in Kenya. This particular news release summary appears in Fintech Futures with a headline that indicates a ‘first’ in Africa by offering a prepaid and virtual card targeted at business owners.
‘DPO’s DumaCard, which is offered as a plastic card as well as in virtual form, is available initially to its 10,000 business customers in Kenya and Tanzania, with plans to roll the card out across the other 14 countries in which DPO Group operates.’
While we cannot verify that indeed this is a first, we do know that virtual commercial credit cards are already available in Africa, so the ‘prepaid’ description may be the differentiator. The company had previously announced a gateway partnership with Mastercard, apparently setting the table for further expansion.
‘The announcement follows DPO’s partnership with Mastercard allowing DPO Group, in collaboration with banks, to be able to issue physical and virtual cards. Last year, Mastercard also enabled DPO Group to act as a Pan-African switch via Mastercard Payments Gateway Services (MPGS), meaning it can independently authorise transactions with no need for bank integration.’
The reloadable card can be topped up via mobile money, therefore allowing card usage without the need for a bank account, something made popular by M Pesa in Africa about 10 years ago. The DumaCard seems to have some other interesting features, including multi-currency to make payments in local currencies pan-Africa. The company will seemingly be making the product available to consumers as well.
‘Individuals will also have access to the DumaCard to make and receive payments for everything from household bills to entertainment subscriptions soon…..The card will be showcased at East Africa’s largest tourism fair, the Karibu Kilifair held in Arusha, Tanzania.’
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service