, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – China’s interest in the Kenyan market continues to grow after China Union Pay signed a deal with Equity Bank that will see the firm’s clients use the bank’s ATMs.
Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi said those visiting any East African Country where the bank has its footprint will be able to withdraw money from their accounts back home and also pay for services where the bank’s ATM cards are accepted.
“What it means is that, Chinese tourists coming to Kenya, Chinese companies operating in Kenya and those citizens working here, will now be able to access their banks accounts in China and Asia as a whole using our ATMs and also use their cards at our point of sale,” said Mwangi.
China Union Pay is a global bankcard network based in China with over 3.2 billion customers.
Union Pay Cards can be accepted in 130 countries across the world, most of them in Asia.
Kenyans who are also travelling in these countries can be able to pay or withdraw cash from the bank account using their Equity Bank ATM cards at any Union Pay ATM.
“If you have an Equity card and you happen to travel in Asia or any part of the World where there is Union Pay sign, you can withdraw your cash from your account here. You can also pay your goods, pay hotels, and get other services with your Equity card,” Mwangi explained.
The Vice President of China Union Pay Chai Hongfeng said the move will encourage trade between the two countries adding that Union Pay will be looking to partner with other financial institution not only in Kenya but also in the EAC region.
“Africa is an emerging market and full of growth potential. It also plays a leading role in mobile payment space. Kenya is also growing very fast and that is why we would like to partner with a bank like Equity, so that we can expose it to the outside world for more growth,” said Hongfeng.
Meanwhile, Finance Assistant Minister Oburu Odinga called on the banks to ensure those in the rural areas are educated on the benefits of using credit and debit cards adding that the cards are mostly used in the urban centres.
“It is high time banks invest on infrastructure in these rural areas, where our mums can also pay for goods and services using the cards like we do here. Please let us expand this technology,” said Odinga at the signing ceremony.
Union Pay has partnered with over 400 financial institutions across the world.