SimbaPay announced Wednesday (November 28) that Family Bank Limited, a bank located in Kenya, has partnered with the London-based FinTech to launch an instant money transfer service from Kenya to China through WeChat.
In a press release, SimbaPay said the deal will help boost trade between Kenya and China. According to the companies, more than seven million customers and businesses in Kenya will now have access to SimbaPay’s international money transfer service and will be able to send money to WeChat Pay from Family Bank’s PesaPap mobile banking application and USSD service. Non-customers can access the service through a dedicated PayBill number 261059 on MPESA, noted the companies in the press release. WeChat has more than 1 billion subscribers and is the largest payment and social media app in China.
“This is a huge milestone for us and our customers. We are glad to extend, more so to our SME customers, a solution that offers an instant, reliable, traceable and affordable channel to send money to their suppliers and business partners in China,” Family Bank Chief Operations Officer Godfrey Kamau said in the press release.
According to SimbaPay, China is Kenya’s largest trading partner with businesses in Kenya importing more than $4 billion worth of goods from China last year alone. As it stands, sending money to China from Kenya takes several days, in some cases requiring a person to physically visit an agent to access their money. The new service overcomes those barriers. The companies also said it will result in traders in Kenya being able to replenish stock faster, which in turn will bolster trade between the two nations. SimbaPay noted that traders in Kenya already use WeChat to communicate with their suppliers in China, making the solution a natural progression. All users will need to send money to China through the service is the recipient’s mobile phone number. Money sent by Family Bank customers and non-customers via SimbaPay will see the money instantly delivered to WeChat Pay recipients in Chinese Yuan.