KCB Bank Kenya Taps More Payment Options in Link up with UnionPay


KCB Bank Kenya in partnership with Union Pay, one of the world’s leading payment service providers have yet again enhanced the payment options for their local and international mutual customers.

Customers can now make payments from the Union-Pay App as well as Apple Pay on KCB Point of Sale (POS) terminals regionally in a deal announced on Friday in Nairobi.

This is yet another African first delivered by the partnership in a quest to build seamless and delightful payment experiences across East Africa.

The China-based firm and East Africa’s largest lender by assets also committed to rolling out more services to drive E-commerce and remittances between China and East Africa, riding on trade relations between the two regions.

This programme will enable the digitalization of payments at retailers, large and small, to take advantage of one of the world’s fastest growing payment processing networks.

“We have managed to make various milestones around this partnership which we see as a way of boosting economic relations between Kenya and China. As an enabler of East Africa’s economic journey, we are keen to roll out more services to drive this agenda, boosting trade, e-commerce and remittances,” said KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara while hosting a delegation of senior Union-Pay executives led by Cai Jianbo, the CEO Union Pay International.

KCB and Union Pay have partnered over the past five years in the areas of merchant acquiring both for POS Acquiring and E-commerce, ATM Acceptance and issuing.

Last year, the two rolled out the Union-Pay Prepaid Travel Mate cards in Eastern Africa. As a result of the partnership, Union-Pay prepaid and debit cards with chip-enabled technology are now being issued in the Kenyan market and later into East Africa. The Travel Mate cards is equipped with chip-enabled technology, to offer advanced speed, security and convenience to the bank’s customers.

“We are excited to continually roll out services which will drive trade relations between China and Africa. With innovation at the heart of everything we do, it is our strategy to digitalize Payments in Africa and Union-Pay has been working to fundamentally change the face of Electronic Payments in the Africa region” said Cai Jianbo, Union-Pay International CEO.

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 businesses to streamline their payments.

With the successful acceptance platform, KCB and UPI were the first institutions in Africa to jointly issue the first Union-Pay card with the mobile QuickPass. This is tap and go functionality, supporting the upgrade of the local payment industry through product enhancement.

At present, 90% of merchants and 75% of ATMs in Kenya accept Union-Pay, and KCB has enabled all their ATMs and merchants in Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to accept Union-Pay cards. Currently, cardholders can conveniently use Union-Pay cards in 48 African countries. Multiple Union-Pay card products have been issued in Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania and Congo (Kinshasa).

With the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and the construction of the Sino-Africa Economic Corridor, Union-Pay has made major breakthroughs in the Eastern Africa region. The launch of Union-Pay Business in Eastern Africa   will further strengthen cooperation on people-to-people exchanges and advance the financial inclusion programs.

Union-Pay International is a subsidiary of China Union-Pay focused on the growth and support of Union-Pay’s global business. In partnership with more than 2000 institutions worldwide, Union-Pay International has enabled card acceptance in 174 countries and regions with issuance in 52 countries and regions.