Absa Bank and Visa partner to launch new card payment offering for Kenya’s travel agents and businesses

Absa Bank Kenya, in collaboration with Visa, a global digital payments services provider, has introduced the Visa Commercial Choice Programme, a new Corporate Card solution targeting members affiliated with the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA), allowing them to access benefits of automation, flexibility and better cash flow management.

Under this partnership, travel agents under KATA – the umbrella body for Travel Agents representing over 300 travel agencies – will enjoy the ease of smarter payment solutions for business to business (B2B) transactions, managing working capital, achieving operational efficiency, and better supplier management.

(TOP: From Left – Dr. Joseph Kithitu, KATA chairman; Moses Muthui, Consumer Banking Director, Absa Bank; James Kabuthi, Head of Products and Solutions, East Africa, Visa; at the Launch of the Corporate Cards for Travel Age).

With the newly launched Visa Commercial Choice Travel Programme, Absa Bank can now support travel agents by offering them the convenience of payments in Kenyan Shillings or US Dollars, empowering them to manage cash flows efficiently and optimize working capital. In addition, members can leverage the Visa Commercial Pay Virtual Card Platform to automate booking processes and access better tools for managing data and reconciling tools, all with an intuitive, easy-to-use reporting feature.

As part of this, the Bank is also launching a revamped Absa Corporate Visa Card, developed with enhanced features and flexibility that aims at addressing challenges of businesses of all sizes. With this card and the new Visa Commercial Pay Virtual Card Platform, businesses can get more visibility and control over their employee-initiated expenses and payments.

While making the announcement, Absa Bank Consumer Banking Director, Moses Muthui said:

“The collaboration between Absa Bank Kenya, Visa, and the Kenya Association of Travel Agents marks a significant milestone in our efforts to empower businesses and accelerate digital inclusion in this space with smarter and integrated payment solutions. This solution will help the travel agents win business without the stress of losing a booking when a payment fails or the burden of managing working capital of paying suppliers upfront.”

“We have been speaking to our clients and professionals from different sectors to understand their specific needs and this new solution is just one among many others that we are rolling out for our customers in various disciplines,” he noted.

Speaking about the partnership, Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Kenya Country Manager, said: “We are delighted to partner with Absa Bank Kenya and KATA on this offering for travel agents which signifies our shared commitment to innovation, convenience, and service excellence. By combining Visa’s global reach and advanced technology with Absa’s deep local market expertise, we are confident that this new payment solution will significantly enhance the way travel agents manage their transactions, providing them with a seamless, efficient and secure experience.”

On their part, Nicanor Sabula KATA CEO, said: “We are thrilled about this strategic collaboration between Absa Bank Kenya and Visa, as it signifies an important milestone for our members. The launch of the Absa Corporate Visa Card tailored for KATA members not only exemplifies our commitment to providing industry-focused financial solutions but also reflects a deep understanding of the members’ specific business needs. Other key features and benefits of the card include a virtual and physical card option where customers have the flexibility to choose between virtual and physical card formats, providing convenience and accessibility for different payment scenarios. It also comes with a Visa Commercial Pay, enabling seamless payments to travel suppliers such as airlines and hotels. This integration streamlines payment processes and supports automated reconciliation of transactions, reducing manual efforts and enhancing efficiency.

Customers using the Absa Corporate Visa Card will also gain access to other Absa Bank offerings, including asset finance solutions and transactional product solutions such as guarantees and invoice discounting, further enhancing their business management capabilities.

The launch of the Absa Corporate Visa Card underscores Absa Bank Kenya’s commitment to innovation and excellence in serving its clients. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and strategic partnerships, Absa continues to deliver solutions that meet the evolving needs of businesses in Kenya and beyond, Muthui added.

Absa Bank Kenya, a part of pan-African lender Absa Group, is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and has a rich history in Kenya spanning over 107 years. The Bank is one of Kenya’s largest financial services institutions, providing personal, business, and institutional banking, bancassurance, FX, wealth and investment, and advisory solutions.

The Bank has a regional and global footprint, allowing it to provide end-to-end financial services, and has been associated with a number of market firsts, including the launch of the first ATM, WhatsApp banking, Sharia-compliant banking, and unsecured lending.

Absa Bank Kenya has presence in 38 counties, with 83 branches and 208 ATMs, supported by a robust Internet and Mobile Banking platforms.

Visa facilitates more than 215 billion payments transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories each year.

The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) is Kenya’s largest and only national umbrella organization representing over 300 travel agencies. KATA’s mission is to champion and sustain the growth of the travel industry in Kenya by setting industry standards, advocating for favorable business environment, empowering our members, and creating business networks with industry partners. KATA is a member of the Universal Federation of Travel Agents’ Association (UFTAA) and hosts the Secretariat of the Association of Eastern and Southern African Travel Agents (AESATA).


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