Visa is set to jolt the mobile money transfer service market after announcing that Kenyans will be able to send money to each other domestically without paying transaction fees through the recently launched partnership between mVisa and commercial banks.
The initiative is set to pose stiff competition to Safaricom’s M-Pesa, Airtel’s Airtelmoney and Equity Bank’s Equitel, among other players in the segment, by providing free person-to-person (P2P) transactions and has on board nine Kenyan banks who have either enabled mVisa on their mobile banking applications and/or have acquired merchants to be able to accept mVisa.
Barclays Bank, Cooperative Bank, Ecobank, Family Bank, KCB Bank, National Bank of Kenya, NIC Bank, Prime Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank customers with mVisa will be able enjoy the service beginning today (Friday).
Other banks either live or about to go live with mVisa include Diamond Trust Bank and Stanbic.
“This is a significant move especially when you consider how much Kenyans spend on transaction fees for mobile money transfers every year. With 38.9 million active mobile phone subscriptions and Ksh515.9 billion in person-to-person money transfers within the last quarter of 2016, mobile
money payments have become an integral part of Kenyans’ lives,” said Group Country Manager for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Andrew Torre.
“There is a strong sense of community here with people often sending funds to family, friends and even strangers in times of need, celebration or crisis. We hope to enhance this by eliminating barriers such as transaction costs2 , while giving customers a convenient, secure and affordable experience. We are excited to continue to build momentum around mVisa to digitise payments with a scalable and interoperable solution that is not limited by the mobile network, bank, or type of handset used,” added Torre.
Consumers can use mVisa to send money directly from their bank to a recipient’s bank account regardless of whether they use a smart phone or feature phone. Transactions are processed via Visa’s global network, VisaNet, applying the scale, security and reliability of Visa to mobile payments in emerging markets.
mVisa will now also be accepted at thousands of merchant locations across the country including Nakumatt, KenolKobil, IMAX Theaters, EatOut, Zucchini, Little Cab, Kenya Airways, and Bata. mVisa will soon be accepted at thousands of merchants aggregated through Direct Pay Online and Jambo Pay, enabling an even easier eCommerce experience for Kenyans.
“We are also very excited to see more and more merchants come on board every
day as they are begin to understand the benefits that mVisa brings, including real-time notifications of payments entering their bank account and access to sales and transactions history,” Torre said.
“Smaller merchants in particular, have realised that they no longer have to invest in expensive point of sale infrastructure as mVisa gives them the freedom to accept bank to bank payments in a convenient, secure and affordable manner that their customers can appreciate and trust. We have
multiple campaigns lined up for the coming months to support our merchants and encourage new customers to experience mVisa at various locations across the country.”
Torre spoke Thursday evening at a client event hosted at a Nairobi hotel that was attended by, among others, Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Mr Joseph Mucheru.
“mVisa is a trailblazer; the mobile First approach is ideal for our ecosystem where mobile penetration is at a staggering 88%. mVisa customers will be able to make card-less purchases or send & receive money using their mobile phones,” said Mucheru.
“The burden of carrying several cards and other instruments is no more, customers will cherish the convenience and freedom of this secure electronic transactions.”
The mVisa implementation in Kenya benefited from the Visa Developer Platform, which allowed all partner banks the ability to integrate the mVisa APIs directly into their mobile banking apps.
While rolling out a new solution with a bank typically can take a very long time from development to implementation and testing, utilising the Visa Developer Platform interface reduced the time taken significantly. This helped to speed up the number of banks who have been able to roll out the mVisa solution in Kenya.
mVisa is now live in Kenya, India, Rwanda and Egypt with plans to launch in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Vietnam underway.
Govt to back Public Relations Bill
Principal Secretary Sammy Itemere said they will collaborate with the PRSK in the journey that will also see the umbrella PR Society transformed to the Kenya Institute of Public Relations (KIPR) once the necessary legislative processes are concluded.
The Government has pledged to support the establishment of a statutory instrument to guide the practice of Public Relations in Kenya.
The plans will involve the introduction of a Legislative Bill in the National Assembly as part of an effort to streamline professional PR practice in the public and private sectors.
Speaking in Mombasa at the ongoing Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) Annual Summit, Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Sammy Itemere said the introduction of a law governing PR practice will be undertaken to build capacity and instil professional ethics and discipline.
The Government, Itemere said, will collaborate with the PRSK in the journey that will also see the umbrella PR Society transformed to the Kenya Institute of Public Relations (KIPR) once the necessary legislative processes are concluded.
“As a government, we consider that we will be beneficiaries because we have over one hundred and fifty Public Communication Officers deployed in various corners of this country. It means we can count on PRSK under the Law that will be established in order to build capacity and instil professional ethics and discipline,” Itemere said.
The PS described the hosting of the PRSK Summit under the theme: Communicating for Behaviour Change as timely as the public and private sectors continue to grapple with challenges arising from transformational agendas.
At the Summit, PRSK Chairperson Jane Gitau confirmed that preparatory work for the introduction of a draft bill in Parliament were now underway.
Public Relations practitioners in Kenya, she said, have already embraced professional practices including the adoption of a continuous professional development (CPD) programme.
The society, she added, will also play a key role in guiding the rollout of globally benchmarked PR practices and ethical conduct.
The Summit featured PRSK members drawn from the public and private sectors and aims to provide informative and interactive sessions on the PR landscape in Kenya.
The Summit will culminate in the Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) Awards for Excellence ceremony at the same venue on Friday evening. The Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of public relations and communications practitioners in the development, public and private sectors.
Speakers at the PRSK Summit included Mombasa Deputy Governor, Dr. William Kingi, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Deputy Commissioner Marketing and Communication, Grace Wandera, Kenya School of Government CEO Dr Ludeki Chweya, National Assembly Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer Japhet Muthomi, USIU don Dr. Scott Bellows and PSI Kenya Chief Executive Officer Anthony Okoth, among others.
PRSK, with more than 800 active members, was established in 1971 and serves as the professional body guiding the PR practice in Kenya. The Society broadly seeks to advance excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management and to ensure that the practice continues to thrive within the ethical framework defined by the profession.
PRSK is a member of the regional East African Public Relations Association (EAPRA). PRSK is also a member of the Africa Public Relations Association (APRA), the continental body for all PR national associations in Africa. At the global level, PRSK is a founder member of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (GA) among other global bodies such as the International Public Relations Association (IPRA).
WorldRemit is Arsenal’s official online money transfer partner
Online money transfer company will work closely with Arsenal’s first-team players to create unique content that will support new and existing community engagement initiatives around the world
WorldRemit becomes the first Official Online Money Transfer Partner of the Premier League club, Arsenal. The leading digital money transfer business, formed by a UK-based entrepreneur from Somaliland, has joined forces with Arsenal to accelerate the company’s growth and help more people save money on international transfers.
The global partnership will provide WorldRemit with a range of rights and player access to support its expansion plans. The partnership agreement includes match day LED branding for every Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup match along with TV interview backdrop presence for every home Premier League match along with global digital and social media rights across Arsenal’s online and mobile platforms.
WorldRemit will work closely with Arsenal’s first-team players to create unique content that will support new and existing community engagement initiatives around the world.
The partnership will also reward WorldRemit’s customers and Arsenal supporters through exclusive events and experiences using the power of football to inspire people. The company will launch the partnership with the first in a number of competitions to win travel to London and tickets to watch the team play at Emirates Stadium.
WorldRemit was founded by Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed to offer a better way to send small sums of money more frequently, bringing family and friends closer together – wherever they are.
WorldRemit’s service is available to senders in 50 countries and the company offers money transfers to more than 140 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas.
The company is a global leader in international transfers paid out as mobile money – where funds can be held on mobile telephone accounts. WorldRemit connects to over 130 million mobile money accounts, enabling money to be sent safely to friends and family even if the recipient doesn’t have access to a bank account.
The partnership will support WorldRemit’s growth ambitions by helping them reach Arsenal’s 74 million followers on their official social media channels and 185 supporters’ clubs worldwide.
Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This is an exciting new partnership with WorldRemit who under their inspirational CEO are looking to transform the way people can transfer money to family and friends around the world.
“We share mutual values and look forward to working together to build their global presence through our broadcast, social and digital channels which reach millions around the world. We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Ahmed said: “Football is a language that everyone understands.
“Growing up in Somaliland, you would always see kids playing football – even during the war. It’s a passion which connects people all over the world and we are proud to sponsor a club whose values are so closely aligned to our own and those of our customers.
“This partnership with Arsenal creates opportunities for us to thank and reward our loyal customers and to connect with new audiences around the world.
“We look forward to using the power of football to support and inspire young people to fulfil their potential and to the opportunities which we can create to together.”
Stock market will weather political storm: NSE CEO
Mr Geoffrey Odundo said the regulator will work closely with other stakeholders to increase access and education for retail investors through the use of technolo
Nairobi Securities Exchange will withstand political shock and emerge stronger, NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo has said.
He noted that the ongoing political standoff had impacted negatively on the performance of Kenya’s stock market but reiterated Kenya’s stock market resilience and its ability to recover much faster from such shocks.
“We’re hopeful that our own political issues will be put to bed soon. We are looking at a couple of IPOs next year and the government is also looking at ways to restart the privatisation programme. We believe that if we get two companies from the infrastructure and energy sectors, interest from the corporate side will spark and this will help in market recovery,” he said.
Mr Odundo was speaking at the 7th Annual EFG Hermes London Conference, where opportunities in the Nairobi Securities Exchange were discussed on-stage with a large gathering of global investors, fund managers and financial institutions.
Noting the recent development of domestic capital pools in the form of buoyant pension and mutual fund industries will help in boosting market liquidity.
“We are very committed to having pension funds enhance liquidity in the market. We are looking at how direct property ownership can be reduced from 20% to 2% to support the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) market,” Mr Odundo said.
Mr Odundo said the regulator will work closely with other stakeholders to increase access and education for retail investors through the use of technology.
“Kenya has a very advanced mobile money platform that we have successfully leveraged. We are encouraging the rollout of products on that platform. This year, we launched a retail mobile bond for the government of Kenya. That’s just a start in educating the public on capital market securities,” he said.
“The second level is to use the broking network to aggregate these clients. A lot of brokers have now developed online trading platforms to encourage real-time access and transparency. We have a very young population; we encourage simulation trading before even going into live trading as part of an educational, entertaining initiative. Those are the key steps in our efforts to increase retail investors – education and access for the investors.”
The 7th annual EFG Hermes London Conference, the largest MENA and frontier investor conference recorded the attendance of global investors with more than $9tn in aggregate assets under management and a large line-up of senior executives from leading listed companies based in MENA, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.
“Investors are increasingly seeking opportunities in Frontier Emerging Markets that will drive the lion’s share of global growth over the coming decade. EFG Hermes’ objective is to bridge the gap between global capital and opportunities in high growth markets like Kenya in a holistic manner,” said EFG Hermes Frontier Chef Executive Officer Ali Khalpey.
Best matatu Sacco to win Sh5m Isuzu bus
The awards scheme is designed to identify, recognise and reward good road user behaviour and management practices in the public transport industry
The best managed PSV operator, the one that would have demonstrated full compliance to NTSA regulations, has a crew who have excellent driving skills, least accident record and a crew that delivers high standards of customer care to its passengers, stands a chance to win a Ksh 5 million Isuzu 33-seater bus in a new award.
The award, Isuzu PSV Awards, was launched on Thursday by leading bus and truck assembler Isuzu East Africa (Isuzu EA), and will target operators in Nairobi County at the initial stage. The Awards, the first of their kind in Kenya, are designed to identify, recognise and reward good road user behaviour and management practices in the public transport industry.
Making the announcement at the launch, Isuzu EA Managing Director Rita Kavashe said the bus prize offer is one of the many initiatives Isuzu EA has undertaken over the years to promote safety on the roads.
“Statistics released by NTSA show that nearly 3,000 people are killed on the Kenyan roads annually. Most of these fatalities result from reckless driving rather than mechanical failure. As the leading passenger transport supplier and a key stakeholder in the PSV industry, Isuzu EA is keen to promote safe driving on our roads,” said Rita.
Rita explained that the launch of the Isuzu PSV Awards is a demonstration of her company’s commitment to promoting the highest standards of public transport in the country, and improving road safety for citizens.
“In 2012, our company led a Private Public Partnership (PPP) initiative that sought to help the government streamline the public transport industry. Dubbed ‘PSV vision 2030’, the initiative led to the formation of a PSV Consortium to organize the industry from individual ownership to SACCOs and limited companies,” Rita said.
She added that the company is working closely with like-minded partners to transform the PSV sector.
Isuzu EA has partnered with Think Business Limited to establish the assessment and judging criteria for the Awards with support from the National Transport & Safety Authority (NTSA).
“As NTSA, our mandate is to maintain road safety in Kenya. As such, we would like to applaud the efforts by Isuzu EA and Think Business Limited to assist NTSA champion road safety. This announcement comes at a crucial time for us this week when we are commemorating the World Day of Remembrance for Road Accident Victims on 19th November,” said NTSA Director General, Mr Francis Meja.
Think Business CEO and founder Ochieng Oloo explained the judging criteria that will be used in selecting the best managed PSV Operator. “The best managed PSV operator will be one that has demonstrated full compliance to NTSA regulations, has a crew who have excellent driving skills, least accident record and a crew that delivers high standards of customer care to its passengers,” said Oloo. “We will work closely with NTSA and the public to gather enough information on how the various matatus are being operated,” he concluded.
Calls for submissions are scheduled to begin immediately targeting Nairobi County based PSV operators with high capacity buses. The assessment programme will begin in December 2017 with various activities leading up to the gala Awards in June 2018.
The scheme entails nine categories in the gala award ceremony in June 2018 and two categories in the random awards. The scheme will award the operator of the year, best managed Sacco, the Sacco that is using technology excellently, best PSV driver of the year, Best PSV operator in terms of customer service, PSV safety innovation, PSV road safety journalist of the year and outstanding contribution to PSV road safety (one organization and one individual).
In the random awards, the initiative will award PSV crew of the moment (driver and conductor) and special recognition for extra ordinary contribution to road safety on weekly basis.
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