Emerging Markets Payments (EMP), an electronic payments processing company with presence in Middle East and Africa, has opened its East Africa office in Kenya.
EMP now has seven offices in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, with existing locations in Cairo, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Amman and Dubai.
“The opening of the EMP office in Kenya is a key strategic initiative for EMP,” said Paul Edwards, executive chairman of the EMP Group. “We already serve over 130 banks and 30,000 merchants in 35 countries in the region.”
The company offers a full range of card schemes and covers all payment channels, including cards, mobile and e-commerce as well as a range of e-government services, such as national ID with payment capability, subsidy management and social welfare payments.
“Kenya and the East Africa region are a highly attractive market for us,” said Edwards. “We currently have 14 bank customers in the region, but given the commitment from the government and Central Bank of Kenya, we expect to see a significant push towards a more cashless society and a higher standard of electronic banking services.”
He noted that there is a strong correlation between access to financial services and growth in national gross domestic product (GDP). While the growth of M-Pesa has been remarkable, he added, there is still a long way to go to ensure that the national payments infrastructure supports a modern, dynamic economy.
Wayne Harris, EMP’s regional director for East and Southern Africa at the end of 2012 there were an estimated 10.7m payment cards in issue in Kenya, translating to 46 cards per 100 adults and a forecast growth rate estimated at 12% in the coming period.
“The electronic banking infrastructure is growing as well. EMP has already partnered with four banks in Kenya prior to its official launch and we expect the number to increase significantly over the next year,” he said.
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