KENYA – PayU, a Netherland based fintech company that provides payment technology to online merchants, has launched its operation in Kenya as it seeks to tap on the growing economy in the region.

According to Corrie Bakker, Head of Strategy & Business Development, PayU Africa, the firm’s entry into the East African country was driven by the robust growth of the economy within the region.

“Kenya is a powerful and growing market, ideally suited for investment and expansion for high velocity merchants.

“With our global, long-standing reputation, and local presence in the Kenyan market, we provide organisations with a doorway into East Africa that’s built on the foundations of long-standing relationships and local expertise,” Bakker said.

Economic growth in the East Africa region is estimated to remain at a steady 5.9% in 2019, a significantly higher percentage than North Africa at 4.9% and Southern Africa at 1.2%, according to the African Development Bank.

The countries with the highest economic growth include Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania, with the service sector the primary driver of growth for the latter two.

PayU’s successful Kenyan operation has been approved by the Central Bank of Kenya, cementing its standing and local approval, reports Biztech Africa.

The launch of PayU in Kenya provides organisations with on-the-ground local liaisons, strong relationships, improved stability and reduced downtime, and localised customer support.

The company service will enable users to transact in volume at the approval rates certified by PayU, and are assured of robust, ongoing security.

“Working with us in Kenya not only opens the door to Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda – countries that have shown real GDP growth – but provides our partners with the first line of local defence with people on the ground,” says Bakker.

“We provide a new set of credentials and a tokenised anti-fraud offering with a re-occurring option that assures merchants of strong security and peace of mind.”

In addition to strong economic growth prospects and a growing middle class, Kenya’s payment market is dominated by mobile transactions.

More than 80% of payments take place over mobile wallets with Safaricom’s M-PESA mobile money service remaining the dominant provider of choice, closely followed by card payments and EFT.

PayU provides a single, integrated transaction point that embeds these payment preferences into a central ecosystem, making it simple and accessible for merchant and customer alike.

To complement the localised offering in Kenya, PayU has formulated a key partnership with Cellulant –providers of Mula, Agrikore, and Tingg- to ensure hyper-localization and payment method expansion.

“We have one integrated transaction point that recognises what customers want. Ensuring that customers can access their funds using known, locally respected payment solutions, mitigates challenges around customer trust and accessibility.

“This is further enhanced by our global presence, our reputation as a reliable, stable and secure payment platform, and our ongoing acquisitions into products and services that enhance our offering,” adds Bakker.

PayU recently cemented the US$70 million acquisition of Wibmo, a U.S.-based start-up with operations in India that offers payment processing services across risk, fraud, authentication, mobile payments and more.