Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Barclays Kenya Launches Free International Money Transfers From UK to Kenya

Barclays Bank of Kenya has officially launched a first of its kind mobile money transfer service dubbed PINGIT to boost mobile commerce and Diaspora remittances. The new PINGIT service allows Barclays customers to enjoy convenient money transfer solutions on their mobile phones.

Attesting to Kenya's growing standing as a strategic sub-Sahara Africa market hub, Barclays Bank PLC has picked Kenya as the lead launch pad in Africa. Globally, Barclays is the first bank in the world to launch an international fee-free mobile money transfer service.

Speaking during the launch Barclays Bank Managing Director Adan Mohamed added that, hot on the heels of the Kenyan service launch, Barclays Plc is planning to further rollout the service across 12 African Countries by the end of the year alongside further expansion into Europe in early 2013.

With the launch of PINGIT, Barclays Bank is now well positioned to play a key role in mobilizing Diaspora remittances and facilitating bilateral trade between Kenya and the UK.

According to the Central Bank of Kenya source, annual remittances to Kenya is in excess of $1b with a significant amount coming from Europe. "From this perspective, the launch of Barclays PINGIT on the Kenyan market is an affirmation of the country's growing relevance in the international financial market" Mohamed explained.

He added: "for our loyal customers, the launch of PINGIT will also be a convenient choice that will allow Barclays Hello Money customers in Kenya to receive money from their friends, families and business associates in the UK for free." Commenting on the rollout, Barclays Plc Chief Executive Antony Jenkins, said: "PINGIT is quick, convenient, secure and free - it's revolutionized how people send and receive money in the UK, and now has the potential to transform international payments around the world. Kenya is a key market where Barclays has operated for over 95 years, and we anticipate significant demand for mobile payments across Africa.

"We constantly strive to improve and evolve our services around our changing customers' needs, and this latest development is part of a series of enhancements to make mobile payments more accessible and easy to use. Barclays has a long history of innovation firsts and we continue to lead the way in the banking industry". Whether they bank with Barclays or not, UK residents can now send money instantly and securely by simply using their smart phones without having to reveal or enter their bank account details.

All that is required from a user is to download the Barclays PINGIT app on their smartphone and start making instant money transfers to anyone in Kenya or the UK. A sender keys in the recipient's mobile number and the amount to be sent via the PINGIT application and hit send. It then takes less than 20 minutes to reach the recipient.

UK customers can send up to £750 per day. Payments will be made instantly arriving within minutes, whereas traditional international services charge a fee and can take up to nine days for the money to arrive.

There are over 200,000 people living in the UK who were born in Kenya and many more with Kenyan heritage or who have a family or business connection to the country. Barclays has targeted Kenya as a key market with sophisticated adaption of mobile banking through products like Barclays Hello Money.

Many people in the UK currently send money abroad demonstrating the huge potential for this innovation in future. Barclays plans to make the service available for our customers in Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda, UAE, Seychelles and Mauritius by the end of 2012.

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