Visa, Branch $170M partnership could be a game changer in the mobile loans and payments arena

As credit goes digital, old distinctions between different forms of credit are becoming blurred. Mobile Loans become credit cards. Credit cards become mobile loans (See Apple Card). “Virtual” cards abound. Branch are the latest to illustrate this point. The company announced a partnership with Visa this month. The mobile lending app says it has partnered […]

No card number. No CVV. No expiry date. No expiration date. No signature. Apple reimagines the Credit Card

Amidst a cacophony of new product announcements, Apple released something that might just be truly special today. Touted as a privacy aware credit card built for the iPhone, the Apple Card is built into the Apple Wallet app on iPhone, offering customers a familiar experience with Apple Pay and the ability to manage their card […]

Safaricom set to introduce a – surprise, surprise- Lipa Na M-PESA Card

It’s no secret, short range payments are M-PESA’s Achilles heel. Safaricom’s celebrated remittance service has simply failed to take off in short range payments. When it comes to making payments at the till M-PESA simply doesn’t cut it. Half a decade after the introduction of in-store M-PESA payments, the overwhelming majority of payments at the […]

How Sidian formerly K-Rep Bank wants to find its groove with mobile tech.

K-Rep was the stuffy, NGO-esque bank with dull, staid brown at its offices and branches, that advertised as the bank for microfinance. Its dull staid name was derived from an acronym. Yes, an acronym. The Kenya Rural Enterprise Programme. Initially headquartered in Kawangware the bank that set out to be the people’s bank watched as […]

Old bankers don’t steal, they just borrow without security : Lessons from Chase Bank on how FinTech alone can’t save a bank.

Chase Bank (no relation to its American namesake) was placed under receivership last week. The bank often touted itself as a key leader in FinTech and banking innovation in Kenya. When it shut its doors last week 55,000 account holders – mostly tech savvy, upwardly mobile youth – were left stranded.  KES 92 Billion (USD […]

New M-PESA menu now includes KCB M-PESA

Safaricom C.E.O Bob Collymore this morning on Twitter revealed a new M-PESA menu that includes KCB’s KCB M-PESA mobile loans and savings service. The new menu appears to have been rolled out to Safaricom’s STK  overnight. The KCB-MPESA item may be accessed via a new Mikopo na Akiba (Savings and Loans) menu item that has […]

Branch raises USD 9.6M from Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla and Formation 8 in Series A

Mobile-based financial services company Branch announced Thursday last week it had raised a Series A equity funding round of USD 9.6 million (KES 1B), as it positions itself for further growth and expansion into new markets. The funding will allow for the expansion of the startup’s  operations, hiring talent in Kenya as well as expansion […]

Dear TMS Ruge, Quartz called it as it is

The online publication Quartz published an article yesterday about Mobile Money and specifically the Kenyan M-PESA. I agree with the sentiments in the article. M-PESA, ubiquitous here in Kenya, has never really lived up to its potential. Online payments are an obvious gap in the product’s features for instance. Small transactions aren’t feasible due to […]

Safaricom Introduces free monthly M-PESA email statements service

Safaricom has announced a new service that will allow M-PESA the customers to access monthly statements free of charge via email. The mobile payments giants claims the service is one of the enhancements made possible on the system following the relocation of the M-PESA servers from Germany to Kenya, last year. “Every month an average […]

Equity officially launches Equitel, claims subscribers hit one million mark

Equity Bank officially launched their payment focused MVNO, Equitel today. Questions still abound over the functioning of the MVNO’s thin sims though. Equitel’s plan to employ thin sim technology has been the subject of litigation over the past year. Incumbent market leader Safaricom has raised questions about the security and legality of the proposed technology. […]