Kenyan banks roll out PesaLink real-time direct P2P mobile payments

REVOLUTION: Kenya banks say they are embracing changes in the payments industry

Kenya’s new digital payments platform PesaLink, that will enable consumers to make real-time mobile person-to-person (P2P) payments from US$0.10 up to US$9,650 at any time without having to go through intermediaries, is “expected to cut the cost of transactions and transform the way consumers interact with their banks”, the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) says.

The service has been launched by KBA, the country’s banking umbrella organisation, with support from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), and will be managed by Integrated Payment Services Limited (IPSL), a fully-owned subsidiary of KBA.

PesaLink will be offered “through a phased implementation, set to begin with 12 banks that have completed a pilot exercise and received product approvals”, IPSL says.

“Through KBA, banks have invested to develop PesaLink, which signals the banks’ view of the role they see digital and mobile technology playing in the national payment system. The product has been in the making since 2013.”

‘Duty to serve’

“The system will enable users to transact as low as KES 10 ($0.10) to as much as KES 999,999 ($9,650) across the banking system,” says KBA CEO Habil Olaka. “In effect, it will facilitate both large transactions, as well as such micropayments that millions of Kenyans settle in cash every day.”

“What PesaLink demonstrates is that KBA and the member banks are aware of their duty to serve customers, innovate and create value for our economy,” says KBA vice chairman John Gachora. “PesaLink is proof that the banking industry has embraced the technology revolution sweeping across the payments industry.”

The 12 banks set to begin implementation of PesaLink are Standard Chartered Bank, Co-Operative Bank, Barclays Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), I & M Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, Gulf African Bank, Guardian Bank, Victoria Commercial Bank, Credit Bank, Prime Bank and Middle East Bank.

“As the first set of banks roll out the product to their customers, the rest of the banks are in various stages of testing the system,” IPSL adds.

“Currently, the platform offers P2P bank transfers — in the second phase of the PesaLink roll out, KBA will be looking to enter into merchant payments as well as paying utility bills,” Citizen Digital reports.

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