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Banks payment service to rival M-Pesa

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Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) today unveiled the PesaLink brand and kicked-off a phased rollout of the digital payments platform that is expected to cut the cost of transactions and transform the way consumers interact with their banks.

PesaLink, will for the first time enable customers to make payments between banks in real-time, around the clock, without having to go through intermediaries. This revolutionary peer-to-peer (P2P) product is offered by Integrated Payment Services Limited (IPSL), a fully-owned subsidiary of KBA formed to implement the platform upon which this and other digital innovations will run.

KBA on 8th February 2017 received support from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to initiate the roll-out of PesaLink to banks and their customers. The phased implementation will begin with the banks that have completed the pilot exercise and have received product approvals, including 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. 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, when KBA member banks decided to invest in an industrywide switch, which is an integrated information sharing network.

“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,” said KBA Vice Chairman John Gachora who also serves as the banks’ representative on the IPSL board of directors.

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“PesaLink is proof that the banking industry has embraced the technology revolution sweeping across the payments industry. It is through such innovations that Kenya earns its title as a global leader in fintech innovation,” added Gachora.

On his part, KBA Chief Executive Officer, Habil Olaka said PesaLink has been developed as a complementary tool to existing bank products, including mobile money transfer and related wallets.  PesaLink, he added, has been designed using world-class technology necessitating the integration of a robust network security assurance and failover system to ensure service availability.

The system will enable users to transact as low as Ksh10 to as much as Ksh999, 999 across the banking system. In effect, it will facilitate both large transactions, as well as such micropayments that millions of Kenyan settle in cash every day, including paying for groceries at the market, a haircut or bus fare.




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