KCB Bank Kenya in partnership with Union Pay, one of the world’s leading payment service providers on Friday announced a deal set to enhance the payment options for their mutual customers by allowing them to make payments from the UnionPay App as well as Apple Pay on KCB Point of Sale (POS) terminals regionally in a deal announced on Friday in Nairobi.
This is yet another African first delivered by the partnership in a quest to build seamless and delightful payment experiences across East Africa.
The China-based firm and East Africa’s largest lender by assets also committed to rolling out more services to drive E-commerce and remittances between China and East Africa, riding on trade relations between the two regions.
This program will enable the digitalization of payments at retailers, large and small, to take advantage of one of the world’s fastest-growing payment processing networks.
“We have managed to make various milestones around this partnership which we see as a way of boosting economic relations between Kenya and China. As an enabler of East Africa’s economic journey, we are keen to roll out more services to drive this agenda, boosting trade, e-commerce, and remittances,” said KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara while hosting a delegation of senior UnionPay executives led by Cai Jianbo, the CEO Union Pay International.
KCB and Union Pay have partnered over the past five years in the areas of merchant acquiring both for POS Acquiring and E-commerce, ATM Acceptance and issuing.
Last year, the two rolled out the UnionPay Prepaid Travel Mate cards in Eastern Africa. As a result of the partnership, UnionPay prepaid and debit cards with chip-enabled technology are now being issued in the Kenyan market and later into East Africa.
The Travel Mate cards are equipped with chip-enabled technology, to offer advanced speed, security, and convenience to the bank’s customers.
“We are excited to continually roll out services which will drive trade relations between China and Africa. With innovation at the heart of everything we do, it is our strategy to digitalize Payments in Africa and UnionPay has been working to fundamentally change the face of Electronic Payments in the Africa region” said Cai Jianbo, UnionPay International CEO.
Digital payments have recorded enormous growth in the recent past in Kenya and with the collaboration of KCB Bank, the payments landscape is being reshaped to offer new prospects and opportunities for businesses to streamline their payments.
With the successful acceptance platform, KCB and UPI were the first institutions in Africa to jointly issue the first UnionPay card with the mobile QuickPass. This is tap and go functionality, supporting the upgrade of the local payment industry through product enhancement.
At present, 90 percent of merchants and 75 percent of ATMs in Kenya accept UnionPay, and KCB has enabled all their ATMs and merchants in Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to accept UnionPay cards.
Currently, cardholders can conveniently use UnionPay cards in 48 African countries. Multiple UnionPay card products have been issued in Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, and Congo (Kinshasa).
With the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and the construction of the Sino-Africa Economic Corridor, UnionPay has made major breakthroughs in the Eastern Africa region.
The launch of UnionPay Business in Eastern Africa will further strengthen cooperation on people-to-people exchanges and advance the financial inclusion programs.
UnionPay International is a subsidiary of China UnionPay focused on the growth and support of UnionPay’s global business. In partnership with more than 2000 institutions worldwide, UnionPay International has enabled card acceptance in 174 countries and regions with issuance in 52 countries and regions.