Banks launch their cheaper mobile money transfer platform PesaLink to counter M-Pesa

Last week, we wrote to you that Kenyan Banks were in the process of launching their own mobile money transfer platform. According to a statement from Habil Olaka, Kenya Bankers Association Chief Executive Officer, the product was to be launched in about eight weeks or less, ‘depending on how comfortable we shall be at the time.’  Well, less is what came to be as KBA officially unveiled the platform yesterday, 16th February, 2017. The platform has thus been referred to as PesaLink. It will run on the Kenya Inter-participant Transaction Switch (KITS).

So far only 12 out of the 43 banks who are members of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), are ready to launch services on the PesaLink platform after completing a period of trials.

List of Banks on-board

  1. I & M Bank
  2. Diamond Trust Bank
  3. Commercial Bank of Africa
  4. Standard Chartered Bank
  5. Barclays Bank
  6. Prime Bank
  7. Co-operative Bank
  8. Gulf African Bank
  9. Credit Bank
  10. Guardian Bank
  11. Middle East Bank
  12. Victoria Commercial Bank

Benefits of PesaLink

  • All PesaLink transfers are safe and secure. Transactions to be effected in less than 45 seconds.
  • PesaLink transactions can be initiated from the five main bank channels: Mobile banking (USSD & Application), Internet banking, ATM, Branch front office, Agency Banking and POS.
  • Through PesaLink, you will be able to send up to Ksh.999,999 from a minimum of Ksh.10. All you need is the recipients registered phone number.
  • PesaLink Transactions are free up to Ksh.500.

It will also be relatively cheaper to transact on the platform. As an example, it will roughly cost you Ksh.20 to transact Ksh.2,700 through the platform against the Ksh.55 charged on M-Pesa. The recipient of money transferred through the new platform will get a code from the sender and use it to make payments to another person’s bank account or withdraw the cash from banking agents. This will also see to it that individuals with no bank accounts are still able to use the platform.

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The Kenya Inter-participant Transaction Switch (KITS) was established in 2012 by KBA. The sole purpose of this project was to address the challenge of creating a more integrated and inter-operable retail payments platform. To implement the interoperability strategy, KBA formed Integrated Payments Service Limited (IPSL) as a subsidiary company to manage the commercial aspects and running of the system.

KITS was meant to facilitate real-time money transfer between banks without going through mobile money products namely, M-Pesa, Airtel Money and Orange Money. Apart from that, it would also shorten the clearance time for cheques which currently take at least two working days to clear.

KITS also sought to extend the hours for payments made through real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems that currently process payments between 0800hrs and 1500hrs on weekdays. The downside of RTGS is that it takes four hours or more to reflect on the recipients account. Contrary to this, the switch will offer real-time settlements.

You will have to visit your bank branch to get on board the service. Financial intermediary products and solutions developed by IPSL will be delivered under the applicable regulatory provisions and regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.

Mr. Felix
A Math Nerd and a Computer Geek. Currently a Windows 10 Insider. Interested in AI, big data and AR/VR. Takes a keen interest in developments in the tech, business and social media spheres.

Mr. Felix

A Math Nerd and a Computer Geek. Currently a Windows 10 Insider. Interested in AI, big data and AR/VR. Takes a keen interest in developments in the tech, business and social media spheres.

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