In a bid to boost access to banking services from the diaspora, the Co-operative Bank of Kenya has today partnered with SimbaPay – a digital money transfer provider, to offer international money transfer services to the bank’s customers in the Diaspora. Customers using this service will see their accounts credited with funds instantly. The service is currently available for the UK-Kenya remittance corridor only and will be expanded to cover more countries soon.
Nyasinga Onyancha, CEO for SimbaPay commented “Our customers who already bank with Cooperative Bank or have friends and family using Cooperative Bank will be glad to see their transfers being credited instantly.” He added that “It’s a great milestone for banking innovation in Africa when we see a leading Tier 1 bank like Cooperative Bank working closely with a FinTech disruptor such as SimbaPay to deliver a dramatically-enhanced product.”
Maurice Matumo, Director Retail and Business Banking, Co-operative Bank said “We are very pleased with our partnership with SimbaPay, which enables Kenyans abroad to send money home without suffering the cost of making the cash transfer.” He added, “We hope to expand this partnership to cover more regions of the world where Kenyans live and work, to enable the economy tap the full potential of Diaspora, especially at this moment when the need for forex inflows has become critical.”
Co-op Bank has created a dedicated Diaspora Banking at its Co-op House headquarters to offer a more fulfilling banking service to Kenyans abroad. According to the World Bank, Kenyans abroad currently send home an estimated $2.5 billion annually making remittances Kenya’s largest foreign exchange earner.
How the Service Works
To utilize this service, Kenyans living in the UK with a bank account, debit card or credit card simply need to download the SimbaPay app from the Apple AppStore or Google Play and proceed to make money transfers straight from any mobile phone, tablet or computer.
For ease of use, all 143 Co-op Bank branches have been pre-loaded on to the SimbaPay platform which eliminates the need for customers having to remember branch codes. At the time of making a money transfer transaction using SimbaPay, users/senders will be required to select the branch of the recipient account and then enter the amount. In cases where a branch name is not known, the SimbaPay access to M-Pesa Pay Bill option can be used; this option requires only the Co-op Bank account number.
In September 2015, SimbaPay was named the overall winner at the just concluded Demo Africa 2015. SimbaPay also launched free, instant transfers to all Nigerian banks in May 2015. In June it became the first platform in the world to allow Kenyans living abroad to make M-Pesa PayBill payments and continues to disrupt the cross-border remittance industry with its focus on speed and convenience.
The SimbaPay app can be downloaded for free from the Apple or Android app stores.