KCB Bank customers with Android handsets and Garmin wearables will now be able to make contactless payment transactions, deepening the uptake of cashless payments.
A first one of its kind in the Kenyan market, following a partnership between KCB, VISA and Thales, the new service allows customers to make in-store payments through the KCB App by tapping their Near-field communication (NFC) enabled smartphones at any contactless-enabled payment terminal.
To access the service, customers will be expected to first digitize their KCB Visa card as a once-off set-up by following instructions in their banking app. Once the card credentials are provisioned to a mobile device, a cardholder can tap to pay simply by opening their banking app, selecting NFC payments, tapping their phone at the point of sale and entering their PIN to complete the transaction.
Powered by Thales, a worldwide leader in digital security, the solution offers customers a smooth and straightforward checkout experience, enabling them to access all transaction information needed to help them complete their purchases with confidence. The solution leverages Visa’s tokenization capability to enable KCB customers to enjoy a new level of convenience, no longer needing a card or a physical wallet when transacting.
KCB Bank Ag. Director of Retail Banking Michael Kungu said: “Eliminating the need for a dedicated terminal and enabling the merchant to use their cellphone to accept card payments is revolutionary and a significant game changer within the digital payments ecosystem”.
“Through our partnership with Thales and Visa, we are looking at supporting the financial inclusion agenda and helping businesses deliver new and best-in-class contactless consumer experiences using a device they already own: a smartphone,” he added.
With the increasing adoption of digital payments, there has been a corresponding need for players in the payments ecosystem to heighten the safety and security of payment platforms and channels. By delivering tokenization technology, KCB Bank is providing an added security layer to ensure safer and more seamless payment transactions.
Country Manager, Visa Kenya, Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, said, “We are continuously working with our partners in the banking sector to enable new and enhanced experiences for consumers. We congratulate KCB for pioneering this technology in Kenya which we believe will offer customers secure, and convenient payment experiences. It builds on the work we have done to expand contactless payments, which has grown substantially over the last three years. This milestone is also indicative of the continued investment Visa is making in safe, reliable, and seamless digital payments as part of our mission to help individuals, businesses, and economies thrive.”
KCB says that the collaboration will provide additional value by leveraging existing infrastructure, to deliver quicker and more accessible payments, without sacrificing security for convenience while supporting its agenda to connect its merchants and customers to convenient digital commerce solutions.
Nassir Ghrous, Vice President for Sales in South Europe, Middle-East & Africa Banking and Payment Services at Thales, said: “With a growing number of digital wallets for mobile payments at store and in-app, banks and eMerchants are increasingly adopting secure tokenization services to offer innovative and secured payment solutions to their customers. We are proud to work with KCB and Visa Kenya to roll out this technology for the first time in Kenya.”
The growing preference for the use of cards to make payments is evident by the latest statistics by Central Bank Kenya (CBK) which indicate that the use of bank cards to shop for goods and services hit a record high at 4.4 million transactions by May 2022 from a low of 676,275 transactions in August 2014. The trend indicates increased consumer spending and the attractiveness of the convenience of the payment option.