Digital fintech platform provider Ukheshe has announced the conclusion of a new agreement with the Nairobi-based lender KCB Bank Kenya.

Through the agreement, KCB will sponsor Ukheshe’s Bank Identification Number (BIN) number. This will allow Ukheshe to immediately issue both physical and virtual cards across East Africa where KCB has an extensive footprint.

Victor Ndlovu, Vice President of Ukheshe Africa, said the deal will include other innovative digital products such as QR issuing and acquiring.

“By joining forces with KCB, we are well-placed to address several open loop market opportunities while boosting wider consumer adoption. Payment options across various segments will benefit. These include payroll, companion cards, multi-currency prepaid cards, travel cards and gift cards. Social security and other government benefit programs such as insurance claims will also see improvement,” Ndlovu said.

Financial inclusion remains difficult

Ndlovu said financial inclusion remains a massive challenge in the region and across the continent where millions of people are either unbanked or severely underserved.

“With a shared objective of contributing to economic growth and financial freedom on the continent, Ukheshe and the KCB will meet the bourgeoning demand for viable cash alternatives.”

In recent months, Ukheshe has ramped up efforts to establish and enhance key partnerships in Africa as the continent shifts towards digital channels, products and services across all categories.

“Embracing a digital-first approach is not only a win for African consumers but for fintechs, banks, payment processors, as well as issuers and merchants. Our agreement with KCB will escalate our impact on the payment space.”

A vision of simplicity and transparency

Executive Director for Ukheshe Africa, Mark Dankworth, says:

“We’ve found a long-term strategic partner that shares our vision of simplicity and transparency in payments whilst driving financial inclusion and opening up new pathways to innovation. We look forward to a highly productive working relationship.”