SBM Bank Kenya has partnered with the Chinese global payment network, UnionPay, to rollout prepaid cards in the East African nation.
Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing, the SBM Bank group chairman said in Nairobi that under the collaboration SBM Bank cardholders will be able to leverage on UnionPay's global footprint to make both online and real-time purchases.
"This UnionPay card is especially ideal for small and medium enterprises looking to trade with China which is one of the leading markets for African produce and also acts as a key source market for various goods," he said on Thursday evening.
UnionPay is already accepted in over 50 African markets. SBM Bank Kenya has set a target of rolling out 200,000 UnionPay prepaid cards by the end of the year.
He said that the prepaid card will offer additional security for travelers and online buyers shielding them from online fraud and the erosion of their savings.
"Prepaid cards are a secure way of making payments online and while traveling. With China increasingly becoming a leading trade partner for Kenya and wider African continent, this particular UnionPay prepaid card will eventually have a Yuan wallet enabling users to make direct purchases from China and shielding them from forex losses," he added.
Zhang Luping, general manager for Africa at UnionPay International said that the partnership with the bank is part of UnionPay's plans to expand its footprint across the continent and enable safe and secure payments with Chinese businesses.
"We are looking to partner with banks such as SBM Bank to enable Kenyan businesses gain direct access to the Chinese market through our card-based payment systems. Electronic payment systems offer a secure and verifiable mode of payment for both traders and customers especially for those transacting online," Zhang added.