WeChat to boost Kenya-China trade

6940221629 5d303286f1 zKenya-based bank Family Bank Limited has teamed up with London-based financial technology firm SimbaPay to launch an instant money transfer service from Kenya to China through WeChat, a service that will boost trade between Kenya and China

More than seven million customers and businesses in Kenya will now access SimbaPay’s international money transfer service to send money to China’s WeChat Pay from Family Bank’s PesaPap mobile banking application and USSD service.

Non-customers can also access the service via a dedicated PayBill number 261059 on MPESA.

Family Bank CEO Godfrey Kamau said, “This is a huge milestone for us and our customers. We are glad to extend, more so to our SME customers, a solution that offers an instant, reliable, traceable and affordable channel to send money to their suppliers and business partners in China.”

The company stated that Kenya imported more than US$4bn worth of goods from China in 2017 and the current existing solutions for sending money to China take multiple days to reach the recipient’s bank account, with some requiring the supplier to physically visit an agent to collect their money.

With the increased efficiency provided by this new service, traders in Kenya will replenish stock faster, strengthening trade between the two nations, the company added.

Financial inclusion will be beneficial as more small business owners can source goods directly from China instead of relying on middlemen to make payments on their behalf, it further stated.

How it works:

Traders in Kenya already use WeChat to communicate with their suppliers in China, hence this solution will be a seamless and natural progression-all a user requires when sending money to China is the recipient’s mobile phone number.

Money sent by Family Bank customers and non-customers through the SimbaPay service is instantly delivered to WeChat Pay recipients in Chinese Yuan. This service offers the sender a chance to review the transaction and exchange rate applicable before releasing the payment.

This service can be accessed by downloading the Family Bank PesaPap mobile banking app from application stores (Google Play store and Apple Store) or by dialling USSD code *325# in Kenya.

On MPESA the service is available via PayBill no. 261059 and with the sender required to quote the recipient’s phone number (e.g. +86 077000 12345) in the ‘Account’ field.

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