PesaLink unveiled

PesaLink unveiled

Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has launched its real-time interbank switch, PesaLink, and kicked off a phased rollout of the digital payments platform.

The product has been in the making since 2013, when KBA member banks decided to create their own industrywide switch to rival the M-Pesa services.

KBA vice-chairman John Gachora says PesaLink is “proof that the banking industry has embraced the technology revolution sweeping across the payments industry”.

PesaLink will let customers make payments between banks in real-time without the need for intermediaries – such as the aforementioned M-Pesa – the mobile phone-based money transfer service from Safaricom and Vodacom.

The phased implementation will begin with the banks that have completed pilots and received product approvals, including Standard Chartered; Co-Operative Bank; Barclays; Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA); I&M Bank; Diamond Trust Bank; Gulf African Bank; Guardian Bank; Victoria Commercial Bank; Credit Bank; Prime Bank; and Middle East Bank.

As the first set of banks roll out the product to their customers, the rest of the banks are in various stages of testing the system.

This peer-to-peer (P2P) product is offered by Integrated Payment Services Limited (IPSL), a fully-owned subsidiary of KBA created to implement the platform.