There is a new player in the electronic payments market in Kenya, the Emerging Markets Payments Company which will be offering consumers card schemes, cards, mobile and e-commerce not to mention e-government services and different channels of operations.
“The opening of the EMP office in Kenya is a key strategic initiative for EMP,” said Paul Edwards, Executive Chairman of the EMP Group, during the company’s official launch yesterday. “We already serve over 130 banks and 30,000 merchants in 35 countries in the region.”
Edwards also said that there is a strong correlation between access to financial services and growth in GDP. While the growth of M-Pesa has been remarkable, he added, there is still a long way to go to ensure that the national payments infrastructure supports a modern, dynamic economy.
“Kenya and the East Africa region are a highly attractive market for us. We currently have 14 bank customers in the region, but given the commitment from the government and Central Bank of Kenya, we expect to see a significant push towards a more cash-less society and a higher standard of electronic banking services,” he said.
“We believe we can play a key role in the evolving national payments system. We are the most experienced EMV processor on the continent, having been promoting the standard for over 10 years,” said Edwards.
Kenyan will be the seventh office in the MEA region after Cairo, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Amman and Dubai.
Wayne Harris, EMP’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa said that at the end of 2012 there were an estimated 10.7 million payment cards in issue in Kenya, translating to 46 cards per 100 adults and a forecast growth rate estimated at 12% in the coming period.
“The electronic banking infrastructure is growing as well. EMP has already partnered with four banks in Kenya prior to its official launch and we expect the number to increase significantly over the next year,” he said.