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Deal inked to introduce Alipay, WeChat Pay to East Africa

Kenya-based regional financial institution Equity Bank and Singapore-based online payment company Red Dot Payment on Wednesday 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 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.

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.
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