NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – Cardholders with the national payments gateway provider Kenswitch will now be able to access cash deposits and withdrawals at Postbank branches following signing of a partnership agreement between the two organisations to increase access to banking services.
Kenswitch Chief Executive Officer George Wainaina said this deal was prompted by the need to deepen alternative delivery channels to consumers as well as to provide low cost banking services through innovative technology.
“The Kenyan financial sector is undergoing a dynamic transition led by an increase in the uptake of technology; there is need to seek alternative delivery channels to promote access to finance and financial products,” said Mr Wainana.
The agreement will require that Kenswitch member banks that wish to access the service to sign up and execute an addendum which incorporates the product and the corresponding tariff structure to the existing agreement.
The scope of banking services on offer on the seamless service includes over the counter (OTC) cash withdrawals and cash deposits.
Postbank’s MD Nyambura Koigi said the partnership would allow Kenswitch member banks to use Postbank branches that have over 230 state-of-the-art Point of Sale (POS) terminals allowing customers make over–the-counter deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiries and get mini-statements.
“Postbank is on the Kenswitch network that boasts of 28 banks and access to over 800 ATMs in the region. This footprint of the institution in semi urban and rural areas gives consumers the requisite convenience,” she said.
The partnership comes on the back of recent agent banking regulations passed by CBK and is poised to exploit the potential of interconnecting financial institutions. This shall also create the need to leverage on technology to promote financial inclusion to the geographic regions hard to reach by conventional banking channels and the funds used to further other facets of the banking industry.
The two officials pointed out that going forward it would be imperative for banks to sign up to such initiatives which would enable them to reduce the cost of rolling out physical infrastructure in areas they don\’t have a footprint as well as enjoy the interconnectivity and seamless operation in the region.
As branchless banking channels become increasingly available, the speed at which financial services reach the under-banked populace will depend on interventions by the individual banks to stimulate the adoption of innovative delivery channels to expand the frontiers of financial access in the country.