A plate of "Wechat Pay" is shown at the counter of a store in Bangkok, Thailand, May 5, 2017. It is a common thing in China to take no cash and pay with a smartphone, which is installed with China's Alipay or Wechat apps. With a smartphone, people can pay almost everything such as shopping, repairing car, paying a taxi and registering a hospital. In many other countries, payment with Alipay and Wechat is becoming a new trend. Alipay's parent company, Ant Financial Services Group or "Ant Financial," has more than 200 million users in 25 countries and regions. Wechat, China's largest social media company, has also grabbed dozens of markets around the world. (Xinhua/Li Mangmang)
NAIROBI, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Kenya-based regional financial institution Equity Bank and Singapore-based online payment company Red Dot Payment have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to introduce Alipay and WeChat Pay to the East African market.
Jack Ngare, Managing Director of Equity Bank subsidiary Finserve, told journalists in Nairobi on Wednesday that following the agreement East Africans will be able to use WeChat Pay and Alipay to purchase goods and services in local currency.
"We hope to roll out the Chinese mobile payment service in East Africa by the end of July," Ngare said during the trade forum for the Singapore Business Mission to Kenya.
Under the agreement, the Alipay and WeChat Pay will be connected to the Equity Bank payment gateway.
Equity Bank is one of the largest regional banks in East Africa with presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Rwanda.
The regional bank said it currently controls about 60 percent of e-commerce transactions in the East African region.
Ngare said mobile payment solutions will provide a convenient platform to the growing Chinese community in Eastern Africa as well as Kenyans who conduct business with the Chinese.
A citizen buys drugs through face-scanning service at a "future drugstore" in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, May 24, 2018. A "future drugstore" of Alipay opened here on Thursday, which permits face-scanning paying, remote healthy consulting, enquiry reservation, 24-hour self-service drug selling and other services. (Xinhua/Feng Dapeng)
Ngare said once fully operational, the Chinese payment platforms will likely revolutionize commercial ties between China and the East African region.
"Chinese tourists will be able pay for various hospitality services using Alipay and WeChat Pay," he said, noting that East African traders will be able to purchase goods from China using the Chinese mobile payments.
Ngare said that Alipay and WeChat Pay are expected to perform well in East Africa as the region is already familiar with mobile payment platforms.
Randy Tan, Founder of Red Dot Payment, said that Equity Bank is an ideal partner due to its extensive network in East Africa.
Tan said that its payment solutions will enable East Africans to benefit from the modern financial technology solutions from China.