Digital money transfer service WorldRemit and KCB, the largest bank in East and Central Africa, have partnered to create a new instant option to send remittances to Kenya.
Announced at an investment event for Kenyan and African diaspora at the Royal Overseas League in London, the partnership aims to support the growing demand for instant, digital remittances among more than 3 million Kenyans currently living abroad.
Kenyans living around the world can now make secure, instant money transfers to be collected at KCB branches across the country.
Later stages of the partnership will enable instant international transfers to KCB bank accounts, a further move towards full digitisation of the Kenyan economy, says Annastacia Kimtai, KCB Retail Director.
In the first half of last year, WorldRemit passed the one million money transfers to Kenya mark. Customers now send more than 65,000 transfers to the country every month from the WorldRemit app and website.
Remittances play a very important role in Kenya’s economy - inward remittances reached a record value of $146.76m in May 2016, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, making it one of the nation’s top earners.
Globally, WorldRemit customers send more than 580,000 transfers every month to more than 140 destinations. WorldRemit makes sending money as easy as sending an instant message.
Diaspora customers currently access KCB Bank’s premium banking centres (KCB Advantage Centres) when in East Africa. They can access their accounts 24/7 from anywhere in the world using Visa Branded debit cards, internet banking and the mobile banking app.
SMEs also enjoy the ability to operate multi-currency accounts in major currencies besides KES: SA Rand, USD, GBP and Euro.
Annastacia Kimtai, KCB Retail Director, comments: “This partnership will bridge a gap in money remittances from the diaspora and therefore enhance the experience of our customers in East Africa and abroad.
“Remittances have been on the increase in the last couple of years, and we want to play a bigger role in this space. The FinTech era only puts us in a better position to continue to play that role of channelling remittances to build our economy.”
“KCB endeavours to be the bank of choice in East Africa by offering relevant and timely solutions to our customers, regardless of where they are based. Customer satisfaction is of key importance to us and we hope that you will enjoy banking with a partner that believes in going ahead, with you.”
Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO of WorldRemit, comments: “Kenya is famed for leading Africa’s digital transformation, and today it’s Kenyans abroad who are at the forefront of digitising international money transfers. Most of our Kenyan customers use our mobile app, demonstrating the strong demand for convenience when sending to friends and family.”
“We’re proud to work in partnership with KCB, who share our vision for digital innovation and our commitment to bringing secure, instant remittances to the diaspora around the world. Today nearly a quarter of our transfers to KCB are made by Kenyans in Australia, with the USA our fastest growing market.”