South African digital fintech platform provider, Ukheshe, has partnered with the Kenya-based lender KCB Bank Kenya to allow Ukheshe to immediately issue both physical and virtual cards across East Africa where KCB has an extensive footprint.
According to Victor Ndlovu, Vice President of Ukheshe Africa, the deal will include other innovative digital products such as QR issuing and acquiring: “By joining forces with KCB we are well-placed to address several open loop market opportunities while boosting wider consumer adoption. Payment options across various segments will benefit such as payroll, companion cards, multi-currency prepaid cards, travel cards and gift cards, together with social security and other government benefit programs such as insurance claims.”
Ndlovu says financial inclusion remains a massive challenge in the region and across the continent where millions of people are either unbanked or severely underserved. “With a shared objective of contributing to economic growth and financial freedom on the continent, Ukheshe and the KCB will meet the bourgeoning demand for viable cash alternatives.”
In recent months, Ukheshe has ramped up efforts to establish and enhance key partnerships in Africa as the continent shifts towards digital channels, products and services across all categories.
“Embracing a digital-first approach is not only a win for African consumers but for fintechs, banks, payment processors, as well as issuers and merchants. Our agreement with KCB will escalate our impact in transforming the payment space while collaborating with key industry players to stimulate the uptake of digital payments,” notes Ndlovu.
Commenting on the collaboration, Executive Director for Ukeshe Africa, Mark Dankworth, says: “We’ve found a long-term strategic partner that shares our vision of simplicity and transparency in payments whilst driving financial inclusion and opening up new pathways to innovation. We look forward to a highly productive working relationship.”
“We are keen on continually expanding our digital offering and card business to serve customers and deepening financial inclusion. KCB has been at the forefront of digitising transactions to offer customers seamless services,” says Annastacia Kimtai, KCB Director Retail Banking.
In addition to providing fintechs, telcos and banks with payment solutions, Ukheshe creates customer focused products and services more efficiently with its rich Eclipse API ecosystem.