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CBK grants Cellulant Payment Service Provider authorisation in Kenya

KENYA – The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted Cellulant a Payment Service Provider (PSP) authorisation in Kenya, enabling the company to expand its payments offering for businesses, banks, and consumers.

Founded in 2003, Cellulant is among the pioneer fintech companies in Kenya and Africa at large and has a history of driving innovation through creative technical solutions delivered with a streamlined user experience. 

Over the last decade, the company has evolved in its payments solutions, from mobile banking services to offering a full-stack one-stop-shop payments platform for global, regional and local businesses.

The CBK PSP authorisation permits Cellulant to continue enabling businesses to collect payments online and offline while allowing anyone to pay from their mobile money, local and international cards or directly from their bank.

“As the payments industry has evolved globally, we are fortunate that the Central Bank of Kenya has provided a regulatory framework and environment that has allowed companies such as Cellulant to operate while adhering to the highest standards in providing payment solutions to businesses and their users,” said Faith Nkatha, Cellulant’s Country Manager in Kenya.

“This authorisation will enable us to continue serving our customers better with guaranteed secure and regulated conditions for us to facilitate payments.”

Cellulant has partnerships with 45 of the largest mobile money operators and 210 banks across Africa and has a converged payments ecosystem that brings together a network of banks, businesses, mobile network operators and consumers.

The company provides its services in 35 countries across Africa, including Ghana, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa, offering the largest and most connected payments network on the continent.

“A connected payment network is integral to the prosperity of businesses in Kenya and Africa at large. Because of the industry’s fragmentation, most businesses are forced to integrate multiple payment providers simply to operate on a day-to-day basis,” David Waithaka, Group Chief Revenue Officer at Cellulant said.

“For Cellulant, simplifying the payment experience and providing merchant tools to manage all their payments  frees businesses to focus on their growth and consequently create opportunities that accelerate growth for all.”

Mobile apps top bank customers’ digital banking feature preferences

According to a Survey by KBA, Mobile Applications (Apps) topped bank customers’ preferences in 2021, reinforcing a sustained uptake of contactless banking solutions that gained fresh traction in 2020 following the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (2021), the preference for Apps was driven by the introduction of versatile banking software by various financial service providers, taking over functions that were previously conducted via mobile and Internet banking platforms.

The survey, which analyses feedback from close to 30,000 respondents, shows that digital banking features such as mobile banking and Internet banking also ranked highly among bank clients’ favorites at 25 percent and 11 percent respectively.

The findings further point increasing digital preferences to expanding Internet penetration and access to Internet-enabled devices, which have given bank clients additional transaction options.

On customer support, most respondents (46.4 percent) preferred human-assisted services as the best channel for complaint resolution. The trend shows that while there is a general increase in preference for automated transactions, human contact is still largely preferred by bank clients in customer service support.

The survey also shows that most Kenyans are multi-banked, with at least 8 out of 10 bank customers (62 percent) having 2 to 3 bank accounts compared to the 2020 rate of 77 percent. The findings attribute the decline to reduced economic activity in the 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which triggered consolidations of funds by bank customers to reduce costs associated with maintaining many bank accounts.

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