Differences Between MTN MoMo Card and Airtel Virtual MasterCard

Due to sudden growth in digital economy across the African continent, making online payments and cashless transactions are becoming more rightly agreed to use by private businesses by their clients. In early 2021, Airtel Africa officially made it clear that they were partnering with Mastercard, providing their clients across 14 African countries the opportunity to access and use Mastercard’s global system by bringing into place the Airtel Virtual debit MasterCard for the very first time after the one for MTN.

This addition adds to the growing list of an ever growing list of virtual cards that are coming in recent time. Starting with Eversend’s virtual dollar card to MTN’s MoMo virtual card from Mastercard. This is making it easy for most individuals across the continent to access mobile financial services

Now let’s get into to what makes the MTN MoMo virtual card not the same as the Airtel virtual debit card. These are going to be our main areas of focus; charges, transactional limits, convenience, and reliability. These will help us to see the difference between the two Virtual cards

But first how about we see what makes these virtual cards almost the same.


Both MTN and Airtel have a partnership with Mastercard to provide the virtual cards to enable customers make online transactions. With these features you could buy goods online, pay for your accommodation, pay for airline travel, buy e-books, purchase software, subscribe for apps and do so much more.

These cards are virtual so they don’t exist in physical form like other cards. You could practically do the same things  you do with your ordinary physical debit card but only that the Virtual Debit card is not tangible.


1. Transaction Limits and Cost

One of the things that determine what payment solution you choose is price. When it comes to price, the two telecom giants have chosen to have independent ways to ensure customers make use of the service. Every time you make the MTN MoMo card, you will be charged a fee of 1000UGX. Keep in mind that you can only make one card at a time before you make another

The maximum transaction limit is UGX 3,000,000 meaning you can’t do any online shopping beyond that UGX3,000,000.

Meanwhile, Airtel Mastercard doesn’t have a creation charge. This means that you wont be charge any fee at creation of the card. Your transaction limit depends on your mobile money wallet balance. For every transaction you make you will be charged a flat fee of 1000UGX meanwhile the yellow camp charges you 3% on every transaction you make online which is a bit large for an average user.

2. Getting Card Details

To get the card on MTN, dial *165*70# and select option 2. You will be prompted to enter your MTN MoMo PIN. Thereafter, the MTN MoMo card details will be displayed. You will have to copy the card details if you want to use it.

For Airtel Virtual MasterCard, dial *185*7*9# and select option 2 of view card details. You will be prompted to enter your mobile money PIN and receive an SMS with the link to your virtual. The link will then show you a copy of your virtual card with details like CVV number, 16 digits number and your mobile money names.

Basing on user experience, Airtel virtual Mastercard is much more advanced and modern than MTN MoMo. With Airtel, you can copy your virtual card details to clipboard and that helps to reduce the possibility of making mistakes and errors.

With more new low cost smartphones being brought into the market, mobile internet connections are expected to grow very rapidly.

This growth in internet connections is creating an increased demand for digital content, social media, m-Commerce, online education, and much more. As a result of this, there is an increased need to make online payments in a much easy and secure way both to the banked and unbanked consumers. Virtual cards are one of those instruments that’ll make that achievable.


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