Ecobank Kenya has today announced the roll out of its first ever Prepaid cards; consisting of the Ecobank Salary Pre-Paid Card and Ecobank Travel Pre-Paid Card.
The prepaid cards, which are Visa branded, will target both Ecobank customers and non-customers. On a corporate level, the card is ideal for employers whose staff travel on company business as it will eliminate the hassle associated with carrying cash. It also comes in handy for companies who manage payrolls where employees lack bank accounts. The card provides immense flexibility and convenience for individuals, students, travelers, traders and the unbanked population.
Ecobank’s prepaid card is suitable for among others: shopping, access to cash at ATMs and online purchases anywhere where Visa cards are accepted worldwide. One does not need to have a bank account with Ecobank to apply for the card and It will also be issued instantly at all of Ecobank’s 29 branches in Kenya.
“The Ecobank Prepaid Card allows one to use it both locally and abroad thereby reducing the need to carry large sums of cash and giving the cardholder the confidence associated with reliable access to their funds anytime anywhere,” said Ecobank Kenya MD, Ehouman Kassi.
The MD noted that the bank would initially roll out the Kenya shilling denominated prepaid card with a follow-up of the USD denominated card later on.
“Our prepaid card is equipped with the CHIP technology which provides enhanced security for card users in a dynamic and competitive financial sector where the focus is on the customer,” said Kassi.
The card allows the owner to have full control of transactions by enabling online access to statements, check available balance on the card and change PIN. It comes with free SMS transaction alert notification and also allows a customer to transfer funds from one prepaid card to another.
According to Central Bank of Kenya June 2015 Report, there were about 1.5 million prepaid card holders in Kenya. The high demand for these cards is being driven by safety and security reasons associated with card payment system.
The cash-lite economy has been on the rise in Kenya owing to the insecurity associated with managing large amounts of money and burgeoning middle class. In addition, the growth of corporate companies and technological advancements has encouraged more people to make payments without necessarily visiting a banking hall.
In Kenya, the prepaid card market remains in its infant stages of development. However, it is quickly growing and gaining popularity which shows there is a need to have this service at customer’s disposal.
The card market in the country has significantly grown in the last one year to an overall total of 14.5 million cards that have been issued by financial institutions. These cards range from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), prepaid cards, charge cards, debit cards and credit cards.