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KCB Bank has today announced the launch of an online payment solution targeting the tourism sector in East Africa.

This Product was launched at the ongoing 2010 E-Tourism East Africa Conference. This year’s conference, sponsored by the KCB Group will bring together international experts to discuss how East Africa’s tourism sector can harness the potential of the internet over the next two days.

Speaking at the Launch ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel KCB Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Group Businesses, Mr. Peter Munyiri said the product would herald the bank’s entry into the budding e-commerce sector.
“This is an important platform for KCB Bank that is at the forefront to ensure the local tourism sector can now have easy access to a much simplified and affordable payment solution for their services.” He said.

According to Mr. Munyiri, KCB Bank which is a big player on the card acquiring front will use this new platform to grow its Internet Acquiring end. Internet Acquiring is the process of collecting, switching and authorizing financial transactions originating from the Internet.
The process will thus facilitate a payment gateway via any web portal by capturing and processing payment details over the internet targeting online oriented consumers such as hotels, tour operators and other tourism merchants among related traders and industries.
To achieve this KCB has partnered with travel Software provider NightsBridge of South Africa and which will provide real-time connectivity to hotels, guesthouses and the world’s top websites and agents and facilitate booking and payment ability via the internet.

The online payment solution now enables KCB bank to offer yet unmatched services in terms of online transaction processing and favourable pricing structures to suit this segment of the market as opposed to competition as the bank moves towards consolidation in East Africa.

“This move not only addresses our core strategy needs as the region’s largest bank in terms of asset base at Kshs 226 billion, but is in keeping with the Kenya government’s overall plan to develop a credible e-commerce culture.” He said.
Munyiri was referring to the Kenya government plan to launch a five-year strategic plan with a keen focus on e-commerce aimed to increase its uptake in both the public and private spheres.

As a financial institution he said KCB hoped to reap significant advantages in the online economy to increase the bank’s merchant portfolio and transaction quantity adding that the service would simultaneously control any inherent risks associated with internet trading while complying with regulatory mandates.

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