EAST AFRICA – Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) has joined African payment services provider DPO Group and Mastercard in the rollout of a business to business (B2B) virtual payment card in Kenya and Tanzania.

According to the Star, the DPO Virtual Card will improve reach and ability of businesses to make instant digital payments to other businesses in Africa and across the world, without the need for a physical credit card, debit card or bank account.

The move will improve cash flow for firms and opening up African businesses to other markets.

Merchants of the DPO Virtual Card will receive a 16-digit card number, security code and expiry date and this acts like a digital account which can be used worldwide much like a physical card.

The virtual card will enable secure, swift online payments to be made to any vendor both within and outside the DPO network, decreasing the risk of fraud and loss.

The card has been piloted by travel and tourism operators who have used it to pay international suppliers and other vendors.

DTB is DPO’s sponsor bank which enables DPO to issue cards in partnership with Mastercard.

DTB’s head of products and marketing, Farouk Khimji said: “Already, more than 50 per cent of transactions at DTB are done outside the bank, and this is made possible because of the excellent IT infrastructure in this country. We are happy to be the sponsor bank for the DPO Virtual Card and look forward to the growth that this will bring to our business.”

Eran Feinstein, CEO of DPO Group commented: “This partnership is an exciting development not only for DPO Group but also for African businesses which will be able to transact swiftly and securely, reach new markets and grow with the virtual card.”  

The virtual card replaces the need for merchants to make wire transfers to international merchants, allowing them to avoid foreign currency conversion fees.

As well as being a multiple use card, the DPO Virtual Card is also available as a one-time use card, creating a card number that is used only once and for a specific purpose, making the process secure, easy to track and reconcile.

Adam Jones, area business head, East Africa, Mastercard said: “Mastercard is constantly partnering with key stakeholders to deliver relevant solutions that enable consumers and merchants to transact more efficiently and safely.”

DPO Group is in the process of securing partner banks, like DTB, in other countries across Africa, which will allow it to facilitate more virtual card payments, giving businesses in other African countries greater access to the global market.