Business highlights – Kenyans to pay for government services, NSSF, NHIF contributions using new Huduma Card

 

Banks will unveil new mobile money transfer platform to rival M-Pesa, Airtel and Orange Money

A close-up image showing a Mastercard credit card on a computer keyboard, September 2016. EPA/MAURITZ ANTIN

  • The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has given six banks the green light to launch a mobile money transfer platform
  • The platform promises to do away with cheques, which take at least two working days to clear and to increase competitive pressure on mobile money products such as M-Pesa, Airtel and Orange Money
  • Equity Bank, Standard Chartered, Commercial Bank of Africa and Barclays Bank are among the lenders that have received CBK authorisation to pilot the product

The platform, dubbed the Kenya Interbank Transaction Switch, which has been developed by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), will, among other services, facilitate real-time transfer of money between banks without going through mobile money platforms that are owned by the country’s three telecom firms.

Habil Olaka, the KBA Chief Executive, said half a dozen of the association’s 43 member banks have now received regulatory approval to pilot the product and sign up customers in preparation for its launch in the next two months.

READ ALSO: Stanbic Bank unveils ‘Lipa360’ payments and collections solution

Co-op Bank, Family Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, Consolidated Bank, KWFT, NIC Bank, Paramount Bank, Guardian Bank, First Community Bank, Spire Bank and Stanbic Bank are in the list of 22 institutions taking part in the trial phase.

The real-time, round-the-clock platform is to be operated by KBA’s Integrated Payments Service Limited (IPSL).

It also seeks to reduce reliance on real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems that process payments between 8am and 3pm on weekdays, but reflects on receiving accounts after four hours or more.

KBA had planned to launch the switch last August but this failed to happen following delays in getting the green light from the regulator.

READ ALSO: Bankers Association warns Kenyans about rising card fraud

Member banks submitted applications to the CBK to approve products they plan to provide through mobile, Internet, over-the-counter, agency networks, ATMs or a combination of them. Founded under the CBK’s National Payment System (NPS) guidelines, the IPSL is expected to interconnect all banks, cut transaction costs while keeping the revenues earned from such transactions among the banks.

Kenyans to pay for government services, NSSF, NHIF contributions using new Huduma Card

One of Kenya’s many Huduma Centres

  • Financial technology firm, Mastercard has begun issuing prepaid ‘Huduma Cards’ for government service payments
  • Kenyans will be able to pay for an array of public services such as the National Hospital Insurance Fund, National and Social Security Fund statutory contributions, among others
  • The chip and PIN cards will be issued by Equity Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa, Diamond Trust Bank and KCB Group for free.

Mastercard was awarded the contract to produce the cards for use in payment of State services and to disburse funds to wananchi.

The Huduma initiative introduced by the Kenyan government has been described as one of the most innovative approaches to including citizens in the financial sector.

READ ALSO: Equity Bank launches campus prepaid card to boost security, promote e-payments

Mastercard Division President for sub-Saharan Africa, Daniel Monehin explained that once funds are loaded to the prepaid card, cardholders can use it to pay for goods and services in stores, online, by phone or to withdraw cash from ATMs anywhere since the Mastercard is accepted locally and globally.

The Huduma Card seeks to replace cash payments and reduce the hassle of having to deal with manual transactions.

13,000 fatal road accidents prompt Toyota Kenya to partner with NTSA in promoting safety in PSV sector

People gather around at the scene of an accident after a commuter bus got out of control and overturned, killing at least one person and injuring several others, in Nairobi, Kenya, 30 September 2015. According to the World Health Organization, Africa is the deadliest region for road traffic deaths, with 24.1 per cent fatalities per 100,000 people. That is more than twice the rate in Europe, where the figure is 10.3 per cent per 100,000, in spite the fact that Europe has vastly more cars, trucks and buses compared to the Africa region where it has just 2 per cent of the world’s registered vehicles. EPA/DANIEL IRUNGU

  • Between 3,000 and 13,000 Kenyans lose their lives in road traffic crashes every year., a World Health Organisation survey has found
  • Nearly one-third of deaths are among passengers, many of whom are killed in unsafe forms of public transportation
  • Toyota Kenya has partnered with National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to promote road safety in the Public Service Vehicles (PSV) sector

A meeting convened by the Authority, held at Golf Hotel Kakamega brought together all Saccos from the former western province to sensitize stakeholders in the matatu industry on regulation, safety and compliance.

The initiative comes at a time when the number of road fatalities passed 3,000 within the first three months of 2016, which is 21% increase compared with those recorded same time the previous year.

READ ALSO: Hunt on for matatu driver in Lang’ata road accident

National Transport and Safety Authority Director General Francis Meja said most of the accidents were caused by over-speeding, drunken driving and pedestrians crossing at non-designated areas.

To address this concerns, Toyota now offers a platform for skills transfer and through our ‘Eco Drive’ driver training addressing the human element of road safety. The ‘Eco Drive’ training is offered to all drivers of PSV vehicles purchased from Toyota.

READ ALSO: Hero MotoCorp partners with Ryce East Africa to offer free personal cover for Bodaboda riders

This training is not just beneficial to the PSV drivers, but is also a form of capacity building for the PSV industry, offering specialized training to PSV operators on road safety, fuel efficiency and fleet management.

Through this partnership, Toyota Kenya and HINO hope to enhance compliance and increase awareness on road safety.

The Toyota brand is one of the strongest global vehicle manufacturers, supplying high quality vehicles ideal for various uses. Kenya is an important market for Toyota with the public service vehicle industry offering the greatest opportunity. Toyota Kenya continues to invest in this region in order to contribute the Vision 2030 blueprint, which charts the strategic priorities and interventions for development.

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