27 Jan African Payment Solutions: Info for Multinationals Looking for Online Payment in Kenya

China Union Pay has been slower than expected to come to Kenya as a de facto payment method.  Kenswitch, a local payment service provider in Kenya has a number of cards in issue which can make sense for adding to an acquiring suite for eCommerce companies and there is talk of banks like KCB accepting Kenswitch cards.

There are between 100,000 and 200,000 credit cards in circulation on Kenya which is less than a percent of the Kenyan population of 45m.  Debit cards on the other hand are 8m+ which is around 17%.  Prepaid cards are at 1m and growing at a rapid rate.  The problem is that they have not all been activated for online use, but this is an area to watch closely.

DTB and KCB have a Mastercard/Nakumat card which was thought to make big strides in competing with M-Pesa with its widespread adoption and use, but the majority of cardholders saw it as a loyalty card, have not used it for payment, and stick with their M-Pesa for payment at the till.  

Forex-wise, most Kenyan banks can only repatriate money in USD although there are moves to get EUR and GBP.  The Central Bank of Kenya requires paperwork to be done for repatriation of amounts over $10,000.  

To be able to get a merchant account and acquire in Kenya requires registration of a local company with local partners.  It can be complicated to deal with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) because eCommerce and online payment is relatively unchartered waters and legislation can be open to interpretation.  

African Payment Solutions has made it easy for multinational eCommerce merchants, through a single integration, to accept key Kenyan credit card, debit card and Kenyan mobile alternative payments like M-Pesa.