KCB and Visa Roll out Tap to Pay Service

KCB Bank customers with Android handsets and Garmin wearables will now be able to make contactless payment transactions, deepening the uptake of cashless payments.

A first one of its kind in the Kenyan market, following a partnership between KCB, VISA and Thales, the new service allows customers to make in-store payments through the KCB App by tapping their Near-field communication (NFC) enabled smartphones at any contactless-enabled payment terminal.

To access the service, customers will be expected to first digitize their KCB Visa card as a once-off set-up by following instructions in their banking app. Once the card credentials are provisioned to a mobile device, a cardholder can tap to pay simply by opening their banking app, selecting NFC payments, tapping their phone at the point of sale and entering their PIN to complete the transaction.

Powered by Thales, a worldwide leader in digital security, the solution offers customers a smooth and straightforward checkout experience, enabling them to access all transaction information needed to help them complete their purchases with confidence. The solution leverages Visa’s tokenization capability to enable KCB customers to enjoy a new level of convenience, no longer needing a card or a physical wallet when transacting.

KCB Bank Ag. Director of Retail Banking Michael Kungu said: “Eliminating the need for a dedicated terminal and enabling the merchant to use their cellphone to accept card payments is revolutionary and a significant game changer within the digital payments ecosystem”.

“Through our partnership with Thales and Visa, we are looking at supporting the financial inclusion agenda and helping businesses deliver new and best-in-class contactless consumer experiences using a device they already own: a smartphone,” he added.

With the increasing adoption of digital payments, there has been a corresponding need for players in the payments ecosystem to heighten the safety and security of payment platforms and channels. By delivering tokenization technology, KCB Bank is providing an added security layer to ensure safer and more seamless payment transactions.

Country Manager, Visa Kenya, Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, said, “We are continuously working with our partners in the banking sector to enable new and enhanced experiences for consumers. We congratulate KCB for pioneering this technology in Kenya which we believe will offer customers secure, and convenient payment experiences. It builds on the work we have done to expand contactless payments, which has grown substantially over the last three years. This milestone is also indicative of the continued investment Visa is making in safe, reliable, and seamless digital payments as part of our mission to help individuals, businesses, and economies thrive.”

KCB believes that the collaboration will provide additional value by leveraging existing infrastructure, to deliver quicker and more accessible payments, without sacrificing security for convenience while supporting its agenda to connect its merchants and customers to convenient digital commerce solutions.

Nassir Ghrous, Vice President for Sales in South Europe, Middle-East & Africa Banking and Payment Services at Thales, said: “With a growing number of digital wallets for mobile payments at store and in-app, banks and eMerchants are increasingly adopting secure tokenization services to offer innovative and secured payment solutions to their customers. We are proud to work with KCB and Visa Kenya to roll out this technology for the first time in Kenya.”

The growing preference for the use of cards to make payments is evident by the latest statistics by Central Bank Kenya (CBK) which indicate that the use of bank cards to shop for goods and services hit a record high at 4.4 million transactions by May 2022 from a low of 676,275 transactions in August 2014. The trend indicates increased consumer spending and the attractiveness of the convenience of the payment option.

KCB Group Plc Completes Acquisition of DRC-based Trust Merchant Bank (TMB)

KCB Group Plc has announced the completion of the acquisition of Trust Merchant Bank SA (TMB) after receiving all the regulatory approvals. The Group now owns 85% stake in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) based lender.

Acquisition arising from delivering innovative financial services to customers, growing linkages between customers in our region and realizing operational efficiencies which will deliver tangible value to key stakeholders” said Mr Russo.

In the nine months ending September 2022, KCB Group Plc’s net profit rose 21.4% to KShs.30.6 billion on the back of sustained growth from both Net interest and non-funded income lines. This was a jump from KShs.25.2 billion reported for the same period last year.

TMB is one of DRC’s largest banks, with US$1.7 billion in total assets and a strong offering in Retail, SME, Corporate and Digital banking channels.  TMB’s bank branch network of 109 branches is supported by a substantial agency banking network, alongside a representative office in Belgium. In the DRC, the Bank commands an 11 percent market share as measured by total assets and is home to more than one in five banks accounts in the country.

KCB pumps in KShs. 130M for Drought Response

KCB Bank Kenya has committed KShs.130 million to support the country’s drought response initiative, providing food and essentials to thousands of households. 

The support will go towards augmenting government efforts in cushioning households hard hit by the ravaging drought and who now require an urgent supply of foodstuff and water.

The funds will be channeled through the Kenya Bankers Association-led drought response (KShs.100 million) while the rest will be through the KCB Foundation, the social investment arm.

The bank through the Foundation has already distributed food to various ASAL counties including Kajiado, Wajir, Isiolo and is scheduled to reach ten more counties that have been adversely affected by the droughts.

“The support we are rolling out today is part of our commitment that looks at helping communities cope with the current situation even as the government steps up its mitigation measures. We are ready to walk hand in hand with various partners to ensure that adverse effects of the ongoing drought are contained within the shortest time possible,” said KCB Group CEO Paul Russo.

The announcement was made during a consultative meeting with President Dr. William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, where private sector players were urged to offer both material and financial support to the National Government to ensure that the drought situation is contained.

Kenya’s worst drought in four decades continues to worsen in 20 out of the 23 ASAL counties due to a poor onset of the October- December 2022 season. Eleven counties are in the alarm phase while nine are in the alert phase.

On Monday, President William Ruto established a 15-member National Steering Committee where KCB Group CEO, Paul Russo was appointed to among other things mobilize resources to alleviate the impact of the drought, to supplement the Government’s efforts.

KCB Group feted for scaling efforts in sustainable finance

KCB has been named the Best Bank in Sustainable Finance by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), in recognition of its efforts in creating a more sustainable business enterprise environment through its deliberate socio-economic interventions.


The Bank also emerged second Runners-Up in the category of Best Bank Response to Covid-19 pandemic.

The awards spearheaded by KBA under its Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) Catalyst Awards recognizes financial sector players for their commendable progress in creating long-term value by funding initiatives designed to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, building a resilience socio-economic environment, and help build a more sustainable future for humanity.

The award comes at a time when institutions are being called upon to embrace sustainable practices by adopting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guide to assist in the attainment of reduced global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide by about 45 per cent by 2030.

To align, the Group has adopted 9 of the global goals, to ensure it creates the most impact to the environment, society, and economy. These are tracked through various key performance indicators that are championed by various businesses within the organization.

Speaking about this achievement, KCB Group CEO Paul Russo said, “We are privileged and honoured to be the top mover of the Sustainability Agenda. The win reinforces our commitment to building a brand that is not only focused on profits alone but on the customers and the communities we serve. At KCB, we acknowledge that we are in a decade of action that requires us to fast track our ambitions in achieving sustainable development by 2030.’

In line with the Groups adopted SDG 13 – Climate Action, we are aware of the effects our operations may have on the environment and life on earth. We are therefore stepping up our climate finance initiatives with strategic partnerships.

These have been established through meaningful collaborations with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Global Climate Fund (GCF) to finance green economies that will aid in the mitigation and adaptation effects of climate change.

KCB Group has been accelerating sustainable finance not only in Kenya but  also across the region, consequently accelerating t h e  transition to a low-carbon resilient.

Currently, the Group has set a target of transitioning 25% of its total loan portfolio to green investments by 2025, as part of its Net Zero ambition.

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