Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd. earlier this month rolled out an online-payment service to bolster inbound tourism to the country, an official from the Nairobi-based bank tells PaymentsSource.

The new e-payment service is designed to support the Kenyan tourism and hospitality sectors because travelers conduct most of their bookings and payments online, the official says. South Africa-based online-payment service provider Nights Bridge Pvt. Ltd. is assisting the bank in the initiative.

Nights Bridge offers booking systems for bed-and-breakfast establishments, guesthouses and lodge hotels for such travel Web sites as Expedia and Trip Advisors and for travel agents.

Kenya Commercial is the country’s second bank to launch an online-payment gateway after I&M Bank Ltd. did so earlier this year (see story) .

The banks began creating the payment gateways with the passage of the Communications Act in Kenya, according to local news reports. Before the act was passed, agents and travel websites had to use offshore electronic gateways to facilitate e-commerce because the country had no legal framework to do so internally.

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