PayU, a fintech company that provides payment technology to online merchants, has launched its payment service in Kenya and come head to head with mPesa, the East African country’s leading digital payment platform owned by telecom giant Safaricom.
Economic growth in the East Africa region is estimated to remain at a steady 5.9 per cent in 2019, a significantly higher percentage than North Africa at 4.9 per cent and Southern Africa at 1.2 per cent, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The countries with the highest economic growth include Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania, with the service sector the primary driver of growth for the latter two.
“Kenya is a powerful and growing market, ideally suited for investment and expansion for high-velocity merchants,” said Corrie Bakker, head of strategy and business development, PayU Africa. “With our global, long-standing reputation, and local presence in the Kenyan market, we provide organisations with a doorway into East Africa that’s built on the foundations of long-standing relationships and local expertise.”
PayU’s Kenyan operation has been approved by the Central Bank of Kenya, cementing its standing and local approval.
The launch of PayU in Kenya aims to provide organisations with on-the-ground local liaisons, strong relationships, improved stability and reduced downtime, and localised customer support. With PayU Kenya, users are able to transact in volume at the approval rates certified by PayU and are assured of robust, ongoing security.
In addition to strong economic growth prospects and a growing middle class, Kenya’s payment market is dominated by mobile transactions.
More than 80 per cent of payments take place over mobile wallets with M-PESA remaining the dominant provider of choice, closely followed by card payments, then Electronic Fund Transfer. PayU provides a single, integrated transaction point that embeds these payment preferences into a central ecosystem, making it simple and accessible for merchant and customer alike.
To complement the localised offering in Kenya, PayU has formulated a key partnership with Cellulant to ensure hyper-localisation and payment method expansion.
The Cellulant corporation develops and provides a one-stop mobile payments platform for connecting businesses and governments in Africa. It offers consumer payments, digital and neighbourhood agency banking and remittance solutions. Some of the services offered by Cellulant include Mula, Agrikore, and Tingg.
PayU completed US$70mn acquisition of Wibmo, the USA-based start-up with operations in India that offers payment processing services across risk, fraud, authentication, mobile payments and more.
“Each of these acquisitions and investments allows us to future-proof PayU and the services it can offer to merchant and customer alike,” concluded Bakker. “Already, we have surpassed the US$500mn mark for our total fintech investment, making us one of the top five leading global fintech investors in the world.”