Written By Brian Ngugi
The interbank money transfer platform Pesa Link launched last February transacted Sh8 billion in the five months to August 4.
The platform is offered by Integrated Payment Services Ltd (IPSL), a fully-owned subsidiary of Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), and can handle person-to-person transfers from as low as Sh10 to a high of Sh999,999.
According to Jennifer Theuri, CEO of IPSL, the platform’s subscriber base has continued to grow with the number of banks adopting it rising to 28, with other unnamed banks lining up to join.
PesaLink was expected to rival telcos’ mobile money service
“The PesaLink platform has continued to enjoy operational success. More banks have received regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Kenya,” she said in the interview. “In the five months since the switch went live in February, the channel pushed transactions valued at Sh. 8 billion slightly above our half year Sh7 billion target.”
PesaLink was expected to rival telcos’ mobile money service currently dominated by Safaricom’s M-Pesa. KBA manages the switch and facilitates direct transfers without going through intermediaries such as M-Pesa, Airtel Money, and Orange Money.
“… the channel pushed transactions valued at Sh8bn above our half year Sh7bn target”. Ms. Jennifer Theuri – CEO, IPSL
While the initial phase of the project involved person-to-person money transfers, the second phase will include businesses and establish partnerships with government agencies, mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and other players in the mobile money
transfer sub sector.
According to Ms. Theuri, IPSL will be onboarding licensed microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the coming weeks.
The platform has also been deployed for the mobile-based bond M-Akiba. “We have made significant headway on the development of a person-to-business (P2B) and a social payment platform.
As recently evidenced by our involvement in M-Akiba, we have tested the P2B solution commonly known as pay bill numbers,” she said.