KCB Bank Partners with UnionPay International for NFC Cards Debut in East Africa

Union Pay boosts security in digital payments in Kenya through contactless technology

KCB Bank Kenya has entered into a partnership with UnionPay International, one of the leading online payment service providers in the world to enhance its digital payments services across the country.

The partnership will see the issuance of UnionPay Prepaid Travel Mate cards in the Eastern Africa region. This program will enable the digitalization of payments at retailers, large and small, to take advantage of one of the world’s fastest payment processing networks.

As a result of the partnership, UnionPay prepaid and debit cards with chip-enabled technology, will be issued, first into the Kenyan market and then extended into East Africa.

The Travel Mate cards will be equipped with chip-enabled technology, to offer advanced speed, security and convenience to the bank’s customers.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to offer our customers enhanced speed and convenience when it comes to payments through integrated services. This way, we ensure that they can enjoy unmatched services with very little disruption to their schedules. We are here to enable their progress and that’s what this partnership with UnionPay will achieve,” said KCB Kenya Head of Channels, Mr. Dennis Njau

With tourism and trade increasingly becoming the mainstay of East African region’s economy, the partnership with UnionPay International strengthens its cooperation with a local financial institution to cater to the new customer segment.

The cards will also feature UnionPay contactless technology called ‘Quickpass’ which provide speed and convenience to cardholders at major retailers and quick service merchants, convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, cinemas, parking lots, mass transit and taxis.

“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. We are truly excited to be a part of the rollout of the first bank in Kenya to innovate with the UnionPay” said UnionPay International CEO, Mr. Cai Jianbo.

Contactless payments represent the next generation of payment processing technology, cutting out the need for customers to swipe their cards or carry cash.

“More customers are using alternatives to cash and we want to offer them the quickest and most convenient way to pay.  As a Bank, we believe that contactless usage will gain traction when customers and merchants recognise the speed and convenience it offers,” added Mr Njau.

As UnionPay accelerate their entry into African territory with the prepaid and debit cards with chip-enabled technology, first with Kenya and then extended into East Africa, the wave of digital payments will continue to enrich the Bank’s financial products and services to serve customers at all levels better.

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 business to streamline their payments.

In addition to the security measures already embedded within the traditional payment card infrastructure, the new cards will come bundled with new security measures incorporated to mitigate possible risks in e- payments and collections.

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.