KBA hires team to run fintech subsidiary


KBA hires team to run fintech subsidiary
Jennifer Theuri

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has appointed a senior management team to run its mobile banking and financial technology subsidiary.

The move comes as banks move to bypass telecoms such as Safaricom with its M-Pesa service to provide end to end money transfer.

Jennifer Theuri has been named as the Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Payments Services Limited (IPSL), the firm fully owned by the bankers lobby group.

Others appointed in senior management positions include Michael Mbuthia as the chief information officer and Paul Munguti who has been named as the products manager.

KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka said the team would provide industry leadership to develop technologies and services that ease banking and deepen financial inclusion.

“The entry of this widely experienced team provides IPSL with a solid human capital foundation to facilitate its institutional set up and market roll out. At KBA, we are committed to advancing the financial inclusivity agenda through the roll out of innovative and functional FinTech solutions designed and delivered by IPSL,” Mr Olaka said.

Prior to joining IPSL, Ms Theuri held several senior roles covering the areas of mobile money, near field communications payments technology, and card business.

“She has in-depth knowledge of a wide range of banking products and services with significant reference and contribution to the card industry in Kenya,” reads a statement from KBA.

IPSL will now manage the Kenya Interbank Transaction Switch that will facilitate money transfer from bank to bank.

The project has however been hit by setbacks having been initially slated to commence in August 2016.

Apart from mobile money transfers, the switch will also shorten the clearance time for cheques and extend the hours for payments made through real-time gross settlement systems.

Mr Olaka added the new team would provide impetus for an accelerated roll out of the IPSL flagship product in coming weeks.

Banks have increasingly turned to digital banking, a move expected to make banking services more accessible as well as lower operating costs for banks.

Equity Bank in 2016 announced it would no longer open new branches in favor of digital and mobile banking to drive growth.

The KCB Group has at the same time invested heavily in fintech which it expects to yield results and enhance the banking experience.

Financial intermediary products and solutions developed by IPSL will be delivered under the applicable regulatory provisions and regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.

Report by Cynthia Nyabola

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