By Fredrick Obura
The increase in the number of Internet users has renewed interest in the financial circles. Banks are scrambling for e-banking and online business platforms.
According to first quarter statistics from the Communication Commissions of Kenya (CCK), new Internet usage continued to rise steadily, to stand at 6. 2 million subscriptions, up from 5.42 million during the previous period.
This represents a 13.48 per cent increase. Internet users rose by 21.55 per cent, from 14.30 million users in the previous period to 17.38 million during the period under review.
The domesticated online payment gateways being championed by the institutions are different from international gateways such as Paypal.
Besides raising the cost of online transactions, the use of international gateways to settle payments made locally means the businesses cannot immediately receive the cash and often incur heavy losses in the event of exchange rate fluctuations.
It also forces local consumers to make special arrangements to pay for goods online – a process that has proved time consuming than walking to a shop for a simple cash transaction.
“ Internet is growing steadily in Kenya, it could be tapped by tourism, auto, airlines among other institutions to reach out to the global clients,” said Peter Waa, director Paysure Limited.
“We have lost in the global Internet trade due to lack of local solution. It is a reason why banks are now interested in partnership with technology companies to tap into this business opportunity,” he said.
Chase Bank in partnership with Kenswitch and Paysure Limited, launched its first online gateway payment targeting individuals, companies in Nairobi last week.
In the Chase Bank, Kenswitch and Paysure Limited deal, Paysure, an online merchant aggregator will be able to accept cards issued by Kenswitch in over 30 member banks.