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Google launches Beba, an NFC enabled payment card in Kenya

The service, branded as beba, is being trialled in Nairobi and conspicuously doesn’t mention Google in any of its advertising. However, a gmail account is required to activate the cards and they can be loaded up with a maximum of $115.

It looks like Google may have just created their own ‘Oyster’ card for developing countries and that could be huge for a number of reasons:

1) Google becoming more established in the payments space

2) Increasing take up of Google products like Gmail in developing countries.

Google’s own finance related product ‘Wallet’ hasn’t really taken off as they may have liked or expected but beba looks like it could reverse the decline.

The beba website will track and display a user’s account balance, paid rides, and payments into the system. There are no fees to use the card.

It looks like a win win situation for all involved. Nairobi gets its own ‘Oyster’ system and Google gets a further foot in the payment space. What do you think?