PayU launches operations in Kenya


Global payment service provider PayU has officially launched a payment services in Kenya.

The company has been a licensed operator in the country since February 2019 and is looking to tap into anticipated regional economic growth.

The African Development Bank estimates that economic growth in East Africa will remain at a steady 5.9%, marginally higher than North Africa at 4.9% and Southern Africa at 1.2%.

According to PayU the countries with the highest economic growth include Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania, with the service sector the primary driver of growth for the latter two.

"Kenya is a powerful and growing market, ideally suited for investment and expansion for high velocity merchants," says Corrie Bakker, Head of Strategy & Business Development, PayU Africa. "With our global, long-standing reputation, and local presence in the Kenyan market, we provide organisations with a doorway into East Africa that's built on the foundations of long-standing relationships and local expertise."

With PayU Kenya, users are able to transact in volume at the approval rates certified by PayU, and are assured of robust, ongoing security.

"Working with us in Kenya not only opens the door to Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda - countries that have shown real GDP growth - but provides our partners with the first line of local defence with people on the ground," says Bakker. "We provide a new set of credentials and a tokenised anti-fraud offering with a re-occurring option that assures merchants of strong security and peace of mind."

PayU adds that aside from strong economic growth prospects and a growing middle class, Kenya's payment market is dominated by mobile transactions.

More than 80% of payments take place over mobile wallets with M-Pesa remaining the dominant provider of choice, closely followed by card payments, then EFT, the company explains

PayU provides a single, integrated transaction point that embeds these payment preferences into a central ecosystem

The company has also announced a partnership with Cellulant to ensure "hyper-localisation" and payment method expansion.

The Cellulant corporation develops and provides a one-stop mobile payments platform for connecting businesses and governments in Africa. It offers consumer payments, digital and neighbourhood agency banking and remittance solutions.

"We have one integrated transaction point that recognises what customers want," adds Bakker. "Ensuring that customers can access their funds using known, locally respected payment solutions, mitigates challenges around customer trust and accessibility. This is further enhanced by our global presence, our reputation as a reliable, stable and secure payment platform, and our ongoing acquisitions into products and services that enhance our offering."

PayU recently cemented the $US70 million acquisition of Wibmo, a US-based start-up with operations in India that offers payment processing services across risk, fraud, authentication, mobile payments and more.

Wibmo adds additional strategic services and capabilities to the PayU stable alongside Citrus (acquired for $US 130 million 2016), PaySense and Zest Money – the latter two forming part of PayU's investment strategy. The company has also invested into Creditas, LazyPay, Remitly and acquired Zooz – an Israeli payment technology provider.

"Each of these acquisitions and investments allows us to future-proof PayU and the services it can offer to merchant and customer alike," concludes Bakker.