Kenya Commercial Bank has entered into a partnership with China based financial service provider, UnionPay, to introduce NFC based debit cards in Kenya. UnionPay Prepaid Travel Mate Card is Quickpass contactless technology enabled that facilitates payment at prominent retail stores and quick service merchants, convenience and grocery stores, gas stations, entertainment locations, parking lots, mass transit systems and taxis. These cards have enhanced security measures along with traditional payment card infrastructure. UnionPay plans to accelerate its growth in East African region starting with Kenya through chip enabled prepaid and debit card payment technology.
Electronic card payment systems have been popular in Kenya for quite some time. This payment segment has been majorly dominated by commercial banks and merchants. However, advent of mobile payments marked an important milestone of the segment. Customers have been active towards alternative financial service usage in past decade. Digital payments have registered significant growth in past couple of years in Kenya. This partnership of KCB is expected to benefit businesses in streamlining their payment infrastructure and garner new opportunities.
Combining bank debit card with NFC technology is expected to work in favour of Kenya Commercial Bank in terms of driving growth. UnionPay will gain access to large customer base of Kenya Commercial Bank that is likely to benefit its approach towards, strengthening its position in Kenyan market. UnionPay has made significant developments in East Africa after implementation of Belt and Road Initiative and construction of Sino-Africa Economic Corridor. Hence, launch of its business in this region is anticipated to strengthen cooperation on P2P exchanges and improve financial inclusion programs.