The East African Community Secretariat (EAC) through its Financial Sector Development and Regionalization Project I (FSDRP I), recently launched a regional switch initiative that saw four switches integrate to facilitate payments across East Africa based on cards.

The initiative between the four switches that was launched in partnership with the World Bank and other development partners seeks to enhance financial inclusion in the entire EAC and strengthen market participants. National payments switch Kenswitch Limited is among the switches that are part of the initiative that allows the regional switches to leverage off each other’s technology in facilitating increased access to ATM services across a wider geographical region for users of participating banks.

The regional switch initiative is expected to bring financial benefits and impact the financial sector across the region by promoting cross-border payments using debit/ credit cards within EAC banking sector. Burundi is expected to be part of the initiative once it establishes a national payment switch.

Speaking during the launch in Tanzania, Kenswitch Managing Director Mr. George Wainaina said that the integration initiative was strategic as it brings more technological innovations to the partners on inter-operability since the switches will be able to integrate more services for payments by using the same platform; in addition negating the need of a new switch by using the existing switches that are already connecting financial institutions in their local countries.

He added that that initiative will also create a shared platform for financial services provision that is convenient, reliable, secure, accessible and affordable. “This will allow customers who have cards belonging to Umojaswitch- Tanzania, Interswitch- Uganda and R-Switch- Rwanda to access more than 1300 Kenswitch ATMS across the region,” he said.

Kenswitch remains committed to providing the most efficient and effective service and to continually improve the quality of service and products that satisfy and add value to our customers not just in Kenya but across East Africa and beyond”, Mr. Wainaina concluded.

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