United Bank of Africa bets on Mastercard debit cards to deliver cashless solutions in Kenya
United Bank for Africa (UBA) has announced the rollout of two Mastercard electronic payment solutions in order to deliver cashless solutions to all Kenyan’s. The UBA Debit Mastercard and UBA Mastercard Platinum cards will help displace cash, delivering quick, convenient and secure payment alternatives for all citizens.
The introduction of the debit card solution will help improve financial inclusion in the country with focus on innovation, financial literacy and customer protection. While the Platinum card will offer UBA customers with several benefits including Legacy Lifestyle Gold Tier Membership, shopping and shipping discounts, Mastercard discounts among others.
In line with its strategic vision, UBA is introducing innovative payment solutions that meet the needs of people across Africa. The Debit Mastercard card gives the cardholder full control of their funds and provides them with the ability to access funds directly from a savings or current account, thereby reflecting all transactions in real time.
“As a group, we are committed to displacing cash and empowering businesses and consumers across Africa, and our partnership with Mastercard enables us to deploy safe electronic solutions to the benefit of the entire country,” said Dr. Yinka Adedeji, UBA’s Group Head, Digital Banking.
Kenyans can visit any UBA branch to request the debit card, and cardholders don’t have to wait days or weeks to receive the card, they will instantly be signed up and can start using the debit card immediately. Plans are also underway to make the debit card available electronically through the UBA website.
The UBA and Mastercard partnership will empower people through access to financial tools. The launch in Kenya follows recent launches in other parts of Africa. This quick go-to-market strategy is ensuring that more people are connected to the formal financial sector, giving them the power to pay for goods and services in-store or online wherever Mastercard is accepted. The debit and Platinum cards can also be used at any ATM locally, and at millions of ATM locations worldwide.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, the Managing Director/CEO, UBA Kenya, Isaac Mwige said, “The introduction of the two payment solutions will enable our customers to carry out their banking transactions in a safer, more convenient and more reliable manner. Our customers’ needs are changing and as they change, we will continue to adopt smart technology solutions that deliver superior services.”
Chris Bwakira, Vice President and Area Business Head, East Africa, Mastercard said, “In order to deliver a Kenya beyond cash we need to ensure all Africans feel confident that their money is secure, and that they have access to relevant solutions that meet their needs at all points of their life. The UBA Debit Mastercard and Platinum card introduces the latest global payment standards with EMV Chip and PIN technology embedded into the card making it difficult for fraudsters to duplicate your credentials.”
The chip embedded into the card contains information that is encrypted making it almost impossible for the card to be copied or counterfeited. Cardholders will also be able to select their own PIN, giving them full control to approve transactions at the point of sale or when withdrawing cash from ATMs.
Bwakira also said that both organisations were focused on boosting financial inclusion across Africa. He highlighted that the partnership supported the Mastercard global commitment to financially empower more people by 2020. “Financial inclusion is essential to ensuring the economic growth of Kenya and the partnership aims to successfully integrate the country into the global financial system”.