Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), the banking industry’s umbrella body, has awarded Tieto the contract to develop Kenya’s first industrywide switching platform in a move that will see banks enhance efficiency across all digital platforms.
The Tieto-developed payments software will enable KBA, via a subsidiary company called Integrated Payments Service Limited (IPSL), to develop instant payment services for the 45 KBA-member banks, becoming the first real-time interbank transaction platform in East-Africa region.
“Tieto has been a key partner in the development of the industry switch, thanks to their deep knowledge of the local market and international experience in the area of instant payments. This project is in line with the national payments system strategy which seeks to promote financial inclusion and enhance interoperability through shared technology infrastructure. This platform will enable product innovations with high scalability and risk management,” said Habil Olaka, CEO of KBA.
The first product which will be launched via the KBA Switch is an innovative, peer-to-peer (P2P) transaction service enabling money transfer instantly and round-the-clock. KBA plans to launch the real-time P2P service during the first quarter of 2017.
“We are pleased to support KBA in enabling our shared mission to bring true value to society and contribute to overall economic growth and development and deliver the instant payments platform to one of the most innovative countries and organizations in Africa, from framing the project scope, through the development process and to successful implementation,” comments says Maris Ozolins, Head of Retail Payments and Cards at Tieto.
“The fact that anyone in Kenya will soon be able to send money to other bank customers in seconds via multiple channels will become an example of an efficient tool for financial inclusion in the region. We congratulate KBA and its member banks for this achievement and we look forward to the launch.”
The KBA Switch has the potential to assist the banking industry and Kenya’s financial regulators in meeting their shared objectives of promoting increased efficiency and financial inclusion. Kenya has modelled the industry switch after similar platforms including Ghana, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom.