Salsy Innovate launches Visa prepaid card targeting youth 

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Nairobi, March 10, 2015 – Salsy Innovate, a technology firm focused on payments system for schools, has partnered with United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Kenyatta University to launch a Visa prepaid student ID card for the youth.

The card dubbed Y-card, allows students to make payments within the school/college/university as well as any Visa branded retail outlet countrywide.

The students may use the card as a library card, for cash withdrawals at any Visa powered ATM, as a gate pass as well as a loyalty card in selected retail outlets.

Students and parents can top up the card by sending money directly to the student card via mobile money platforms or by depositing money in any UBA branch.

Salsy innovate was incubated at the Kenyatta University’s Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre which aims to support new and innovative ideas from Kenyans. The centre accommodates both Kenyatta University students and other Kenyans in need of support. It was founded by Manu Chandaria in 2011.

Speaking during the launch Bernard Chomba, Salsy Innovate Chief Executive Officer, explained that the Y-card has a secure chip which stores the student’s bank information. The card can be used to make payments at any supermarket, several retail outlets all over Kenya and petrol stations.

“We provide point of sale devices (PoS) at the accounts office and the school canteen. The device is connected to the bank. In case a student needs to pay for an item at the canteen or pay fees, he/she needs to swipe his/her card and then key in a pin. The Y-card prevents loss of money or wrong use while giving parents a platform on their mobile phones to monitor how their children spend their pocket money, using a special USSD code,” said Chomba.

Visa General Manager for East and Southern Africa, Jabu Basopo, said the Y-card is an innovative product that taps into the lifestyle of the youth affording them the freedom, convenience and security to transact.

“As a global payments technology company, we see one of the most valuable contributions we can make as helping to bring more people into the formal financial system. We do so by creating pathways to financial inclusion for the financially underserved through our products, services, technology, and payments expertise and our strategic partnerships such as this one,” said Basopo.

Professor Olive Mugenda, Vice Chancellor at Kenyatta University, said having cashless transactions within the schools ensured discipline amongst students. “The lack of liquid cash means students are not able to steal from each other, buy drugs or sneak out of school to engage in unruly behavior,” said Mugenda.

The Y-card offers a platform for students to learn to manage their funds at an early age as this student ID card is actually an ATM card backed by a bank account.

Visa believes that the growing economy and the emerging opportunities in Kenya have underlined the increasingly important role of financial literacy as a key skill that can help young people gain personal financial security in the future.

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 47,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit and @VisaNews.

About Salsy Innovate Ltd

Salsy Innovate Ltd is a technology firm providing payment systems mainly to schools, colleges and universities. The company provides student ID cards that are Visa powered, loyalty cards to retail outlets as well as Near Field Connection (NFC) gate passes.

Salsy Innovate also provides other payment systems including software and platforms; point of sale devices in school canteens, kiosks and the accounts office.

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