In Kenya, you cannot do business smoothly if you are not on M-Pesa. It is the preferred mode of payment for most small-scale traders; who make the bulk of businesses in the country. With the recent growing trade ties between Kenya and the Asian dragon – China – local traders in Kenya were forced to adopt a more traditional channel of payments that works through banks.
As it works out, when trading with international wholesalers, retailers, and customers from China, the local traders to turn to conventional banking services. When trading with local wholesalers, retailers, and customers they had to revert back to M-Pesa.
well, a local bank – Family Bank Ltd. – has partnered with a London-based fintech firm SimbaPay to enable M-Pesa users locally to send money directly to the over one billion active users of WeChat in China. [WeChat is a payment and social media app. Just think of it as WhatsApp, but one that also enables you to send and receive money from your contacts]
How to send money from M-Pesa to WeChat
For Kenyans looking to send money to their Chinese counterpart, they will have to use the M-Pesa Paybill number issued by Family Bank, then enter the phone number of the payee in China as the account number. The Payee in China will be able to access the money sent via their WeChat mobile wallet.
How much will it cost?
I feel like we should have started with this part. The cost of sending money from Kenya to China via M-Pesa and WeChat will vary on a sliding scale. For instance, to send $80, you will have to pay about $3.5. Family Bank customers will also have the option of sending money to WeChat users in China without needing to first go through M-Pesa. All they need is their bank’s PesaPap mobile banking app or use the bank’s mobile money USSD service.
“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,” said Godfrey Kamau, the COO at Family Bank.
SimbaPay will be updating the foreign exchange rate on a daily basis. When a Kenyan want to send the money, they will get a notification letting them know the current foreign exchange rate, and the amount in Yuan their Chinese counterpart will be getting.