Naivas named top Visa merchant in Kenya

Naivas chief commercial officer Willy Kimani. FILE PHOTO | NMG Supermarket chain Naivas has been recognised by global payment services firm Visa International as the retailer with the highest number of card transactions in Kenya.

Naivas said cashless payments now account for over 39 percent of all its transactions. Merchants like Naivas pay a fee to Visa and its partner banks each time a customer uses a card at the point of sale.

The retailer has an estimated 1,320 card swiping machines in its 58 outlets. Visa said the use of its branded cards at Naivas has surpassed its expectations.

Naivas chief commercial officer Willy Kimani said the retailer is keen to grow its Visa-based payments platform which is speedy and seamless compared to cash transactions.

“Kenyans increasingly prefer to use card and mobile payments for their purchases, necessitating that we move with the times and deliver seamless, speedy payment platforms that ensure they spend the least time at the till,” Mr Kimani said.

Visa remains locked in stiff competition with its rival MasterCard for the country’s growing market in card-based payments.

Mr Kimani without giving details said that over the past 12 months card transactions had grown faster than mobile payments highlighting a sharp shift in shoppers’ payments mainly in Nairobi.

Naivas is one of the firms that have tapped into the growing demand for Visa-based payments — considered more secure than cash payments — across the country.

The recognition comes at the back of increased footprint by the retailer that recently opened its 58th branch in Embu as it seeks to tap into the market left by the once-dominant Nakumatt and Uchumi supermarkets.

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