Kenyan bank turns to fintech and WeChat to power trade with China

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Kenya’s Family Bank Ltd. will collaborate with London fintech SimbaPay to launch a transfer service to China with WeChat.

The companies hope to serve an addressable market of 7 million Kenyan businesses, which will have the option to send funds to WeChat Pay from Family Bank’s PesaPap mobile banking service. Nonbank customers can use MPESA to access the transfers.
The collaboration is designed to make supply chains smoother. WeChat has more than 1 billion subscribers, and Kenyan traders frequently use WeChat social app to communicate with suppliers.

The integration adds a payment function to go with the social tools, and is another venue for WeChat to extend its growing international payments reach. Kenya has long been a hub of payments innovation, and was an early adopter of mobile money and blockchain to support digital transactions.

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