KCB Bank, in collaboration with VISA and Thales, has unveiled a groundbreaking contactless payment service for its customers in Kenya.

This pioneering initiative allows KCB Bank customers with Android handsets and Garmin wearables to conveniently make cashless transactions, further promoting the adoption of digital payments in the country.

With the new service, customers can now make in-store payments by simply tapping their NFC-enabled smartphones at any contactless-enabled payment terminal, using the KCB App.

The service, which is the first of its kind in the Kenyan market, provides an effortless checkout experience for customers and eliminates the need for physical cards or wallets.

To access this service, customers must first digitize their KCB Visa card through their banking app.

Once the card credentials are securely provisioned to their mobile devices, customers can initiate a payment by opening their banking app, selecting NFC payments, tapping their phone at the point of sale, and entering their PIN to complete the transaction.

Michael Kungu, the Ag. Director of Retail Banking at KCB Bank, expressed enthusiasm about the revolutionary nature of the service.

"Eliminating the need for a dedicated terminal and enabling the merchant to use their cellphone to accept card payments is revolutionary and a significant game changer within the digital payments ecosystem," Kungu said.

“Through our partnership with Thales and Visa, we are looking at supporting the financial inclusion agenda and helping businesses deliver new and best-in-class contactless consumer experiences using a device they already own: a smartphone."

The collaboration between KCB Bank, Thales, and Visa aims to support Kenya's financial inclusion agenda and enhance contactless consumer experiences.

By leveraging Thales' expertise in digital security and Visa's tokenization capability, KCB Bank ensures safer and more seamless payment transactions for its customers.

Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Country Manager of Visa Kenya, commended KCB Bank for introducing this technology, emphasizing the secure and convenient payment experiences it offers.

She highlighted Visa's commitment to safe and reliable digital payments, as well as its dedication to helping individuals, businesses, and economies thrive.

“We are continuously working with our partners in the banking sector to enable new and enhanced experiences for consumers. We congratulate KCB for pioneering this technology in Kenya which we believe will offer customers secure, and convenient payment experiences," she said.

"It builds on the work we have done to expand contactless payments, which has grown substantially over the last three years. This milestone is also indicative of the continued investment Visa is making in safe, reliable, and seamless digital payments as part of our mission to help individuals, businesses, and economies thrive."

Nassir Ghrous, Vice President for Sales in South Europe, Middle-East & Africa Banking and Payment Services at Thales, expressed pride in working with KCB Bank and Visa Kenya to introduce this technology for the first time in Kenya.

Ghrous highlighted the growing adoption of secure tokenization services by banks and eMerchants to offer innovative and secured payment solutions to customers.

“With a growing number of digital wallets for mobile payments at store and in-app, banks and eMerchants are increasingly adopting secure tokenization services to offer innovative and secured payment solutions to their customers. We are proud to work with KCB and Visa Kenya to roll out this technology for the first time in Kenya," Ghorus stated.

The move towards digital payments is evident in Kenya, with statistics from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) revealing a significant increase in the use of bank cards for shopping.

Transactions using bank cards reached a record high of 4.4 million by May 2022, compared to a mere 676,275 transactions in August 2014. This surge in card usage signifies heightened consumer spending and the appeal of the convenience offered by this payment option.

Through this collaborative effort, KCB Bank aims to leverage existing infrastructure and provide faster, more accessible payments while prioritizing security.

The introduction of this contactless payment solution demonstrates KCB Bank's commitment to connecting its merchants and customers with convenient digital commerce solutions.

As digital payments continue to gain momentum in Kenya, this innovative solution from KCB Bank, powered by Thales and VISA, paves the way for a more streamlined and secure payment experience, propelling the country further into the era of cashless transactions.