China-Kenya fintech partnership key to boosting commercial ties – expert

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A Kenyan investment expert said on Monday that closer Kenya-China financial technology (fintech) collaboration will boost bilateral commercial ties.

Daniel Mainye, senior manager for fintech, brand and innovation at Nairobi-based Cytonn Investments told Xinhua by phone that China is a critical partner of Kenya given that China is now one of Kenya’s biggest trading partners.

“Fintech integration will smoothen trade by enabling merchants to pay seamlessly for goods from both countries and will result in a win-win relationship,” Mainye said.

M-Pesa, a mobile phone money transfer platform in Kenya has already integrated with Alipay, a Chinese fintech company.

Mainye observed that the collaboration will also facilitate the Chinese business community to transfer funds to Kenya for investment purposes.

He added that the growth of Kenya’s fintech sector will be accelerated through international partnerships.

“Kenya’s huge diaspora which is scattered across the globe requires convenient payment methods to send money back home,” he added.

According to the analyst, a number of Kenyan banks have already seen an opportunity of partnering with Chinese fintechs in order to serve the local Chinese community.

Mainye noted that fintech allows those outside formal financial institutions to make and receive payments even across borders.

He added that the fintech industry is playing a bigger role in the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the public moves to adopt practices such as social distancing and other measures to contain the spread of the virus.

He observed that the digitalization of financial services also has other benefits for governments and the private sector as it enhances the efficiency of operations.

Mainye noted the government is also promoting the use of contactless financial services by directing fintech firms to remove charges for smaller mobile money transactions.

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