The recent influx of Chinese expatriates in the country, thanks to a number of China-funded projects, has seen a spike in a number of Chinese-centered businesses and services emerging in Kenya. The latest of such kind is the news that soon Kenyan businesses will be able to accept Alipay and WeChat payments thanks to a partnership between Equitel (Finserve Limited) and Red Dot Payment Limited.
According to Finserve’s Managing Director, Jack Ngare, the partnership will see Kenyan businesses benefit from having one more option of accepting payment, which is meant to encourage an increase in international trade. “The key purpose of Equity is to empower businesses. We still believe there’s a lot of room for more payment options to come into this market,” he said.
Alipay founder, Jack Ma, was in Kenya a few months back and hinted at Alipay looking for a partner to do business within the country, we are not sure if this is the result of that hint but the inclusion of WeChat Pay could be pointing us to a different direction.
Once the service goes live, anyone with an Alipay or WeChat Pay account will be able to make seamless payments to Kenyan businesses that will have signed up for the service, through their respective platforms. The long-term plan, according to Equitel, is to allow Kenyans to be able to hold Alipay and WeChat Pay accounts through them and thus facilitate international payments.
Mr Jack Ngare says that Equitel will learn from this relationship, that is, understand how Alipay and WeChat payments work, with the hope of adopting a similar payments structure locally, possibly to take on M-Pesa. Currently, Equitel and Red Dot are working on the rollout plan of the service, having just signed an MOU the other day.
The service is set to go live within a month’s time. This is not the first time that we have seen Equity Group – Finserve’s parent company make a play at attracting the Chinese population in Kenyan towards using their services. The Bank recently released a Mandarin version of their EazzyBanking app to facilitate easy banking for the Chinese population in Kenya.