Shared payment systems firm Kenswitch has said it will offer a common marine insurance platform for stakeholders so that they do not invest in individual units as new rules come into force. The hosted marine cargo insurance certificate issuance and payments platform comes as the January 1, 2017 deadline to implement the local insurance for import looms.

Section 20 of the Insurance Act mandates all importers to buy local marine cover.  The firm said its payment platform negates the need for insurers to procure at great cost and inconvenience in-house based systems adding to the cost of providing insurance products in Kenya.

“The problem of delayed payments within the insurance sector would be finally addressed as settlement on the platform will be effected on a next-day basis,” said Kenswitch managing director George Wainaina while hosting insurance industry players at a breakfast conference in Nairobi yesterday.

Financing packages

“In addition, premiums need not be paid upfront as several banks on the Kenswitch network had signed on to offer financing packages.”  Mr Wainaina said the gateway is fully integrated into the banking sector and provides for payments across multiple channels including bank branches, bank agents, mobile banking, Internet banking, credit and debit cards and mobile money channels.

“The hosted platform integrates to Kenya Revenue Authority as well as Kenya Bureau of Standards to ensure that there are no revenue leakages due to under-declaration and that high quality standards are observed on all imports,” it said.

Several firms in the Kenyan insurance industry are eyeing new multi-billion business opportunities the new requirements have created.