KCB Bank Kenya adds UnionPay & Apple Pay to drive E-commerce & remittances between China & East Africa

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KCB Bank Kenya has added UnionPay App as well as Apple Pay on KCB Point of Sale (POS) terminals regionally in a deal expected to drive E-commerce and remittances between China and East Africa, riding on trade relations between the two regions.

The deal will allow digitization of payments at retailers, large and small, to take advantage of Union Pay, one of the world’s fastest growing payment processing networks and Apple Pay which is growing internationally.

“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 is 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.

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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% of merchants and 75% 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.