Swedish money remittance and payment services fintech Okapi Finance has entered into a partnership with Ecobank to enable customers of the two institutions transfer cash from Okapi wallet to Ecobank account and vice-versa at no cost.
The partnership will also enable customers move cash to local banks in Kenya through their Okapi wallet or Ecobank’s Xpress account, a virtual account hosted on the Okapi wallet. A customer must download the Okapi App on their mobile phone in order to transfer money or make payments.
The two institutions said that their partnership was geared towards promoting financial inclusion and a cashless society. Statistics indicate that close to 80% of the African population remains unbanked.
Patrick Kihara, Okapi East Africa Country Manager, noted: ‘’Our mission is to bank the unbanked not only in Kenya, but also the entire Africa. We want our customers to be able to have a bank account and save. This will definitely promote financial security for them. Customers now have access to a bank account through the Okapi app. All they have to do is to join Okapi to have their Ecobank Xpress account activated.”
He added: “With the global economy venturing into making transactions cashless and with the advancing technological developments, a cashless society is looming and may be closer than any of us expect. We are pleased to partner with Ecobank and we believe this will serve our customers better.’’
Gisele Mwepu, Chief Executive Officer of Okapi Finance says: “We are pleased to enter a partnership with Ecobank. Ecobank, being the Pan Africa bank with operations in 33 countries across Africa, is a great partner for Okapi towards achieving its twin goals of promoting financial inclusion across Africa and creating a connected financial sector. I believe that interoperability between solutions in Africa is the key to achieving financial inclusion and to facilitate transactions between different countries in Africa.’’
On his part, Ecobank Kenya’s Managing Director and Regional Executive for Central, Eastern and Southern Africa Sam Adjei said: “Partnering with Okapi will enable us scale up business touch points in addition to engendering financial inclusion which is a key proposition under our digitisation agenda. This partnership is already bearing some positive impact where people in some informal settlements in Nairobi are able to transfer money and make payments conveniently, and at a reduced cost, in order to access basic hygiene services among other things.”
Headquartered in Sweden, Okapi’s mission is to bank the unbanked by providing financial inclusion and increasing access to financial services. Apart for having access to savings account, Okapi customers are able to do transfers, payments, pay their insurance premium. Customers can also move money between Okapi and Visa as well as Visa card to card in real-time.
Okapi services are accessible through authorized agents, Okapi website or Okapi Mobile App available on Android and IOs mobile operating systems. Okapi customers can register online or by visiting an agent.