In 2015, Nigerian payments company Interswitch acquired Kenyan based Paynet Group, rebranding it as Interswitch East Africa. Paynet Group owned several payment brands in Kenya including Electronic Financial Technologies (EFT), Paynet and PesaPoint. The acquisition was meant to offer Interswitch Transnational Holdings an entry point into the East African market and allow Paynet to broaden its footprint into growing segments in East Africa such as Transport. Since then, Interswitch has launched various products in Kenya, among them Verve Card, a prepaid debit card in partnership with KCB. Interswitch is also planning to roll out other products in the Kenyan market including QuickTeller, an online, real-time utility payment and money transfer solution.
The payments firm is also planning to launch into the Kenyan market Card Control and ScoreBridge, which are fraud management Apps for the Kenyan consumer and financial institutions respectively. The solutions are meant to add a new layer of security for payment services used by Interswitch customers. At the time of acquisition, Paynet Group served 70 financial institutions, over 2,000 companies and numerous public institutions. Its PesaPoint atms number to 1,200 with its agency network at 1,300 locations. The solutions will offer active decision of transactions through real-time rules and artificial intelligence.
The solutions come at a time when consumers are increasingly dealing with cases of fraud and cybercrime. According to the Kenya Cyber Security Report 2015, Kenyan companies lose an estimated Kshs. 15 Billion to cybercrime with the cases growing in magnitude and pace. Last week, Equity Bank announced it was partnering with South African firm Entersekt, to deploy its security multi-authentication solutions Transakt and Interakt on Equity Bank’s online banking, mobile banking, and payment platforms, owing to raising cases of fraud and cybercrime. The solutions by Interswitch will reduce the amount of time taken to conduct background checks in instances of fraud besides offering real-time updates on vulnerabilities.