, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 7 – Barclays Bank account holders in Kenya will now be able to receive money from their family and friends residing in the United Kingdom via their mobile phone.
This follows the launch of a mobile money transfer service dubbed ‘PINGIT’ by the bank which will allow UK residents to send money from various bank accounts.
Speaking during the launch Barclays Bank Managing Director Adan Mohamed said all that is required from the sender is to download the Barclays PINGIT application on their smart phone and make the money transfers to anyone with a Barclays account in Kenya.
“A sender keys in the recipient’s mobile number and the amount to be sent via the PINGIT application and hits send. It takes less than 20 minutes to reach the recipient, “said Mohammed.
“Customers in Kenya on the other hand do not need to download anything. All they need to do is to have and account with Barclays, have their mobile handsets and mobile number from any service providers in the country. So a lot of conditions are in the UK side at the moment, “added Mohamed.
The maximum amount a UK customer can send to Kenya should not exceed £750 per day.
However, Kenyans cannot use the money transfer service to send money to UK.
“We will explore whether we want to bring back that service for domestic purpose within Kenya, whereby everybody, regardless of their bank accounts from different banks can also benefit. It’s something we need to consider later on, “the bank’s CEO said.
The Bank plans to rollout the service across 11 African countries and the UAE by the end of the year alongside further expansion into Europe in early 2013. This will include Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda, UAE, Seychelles and Mauritius.
According to Central Bank of Kenya, annual remittances to Kenya are in excess of $1 billion with a significant amount coming from Europe.
There are over 200,000 people living in the UK who were born in Kenya and many more with Kenyan heritage or who have a family or business connection to the country.