Venture Capital and Private Equity Industry Performance Survey of South Africa covering the 2014 calendar year

Kenyan Market Welcomes Emerging Markets Payments

Cairo-based e-payments firm, the Emerging Markets Payments Company, has just launched its Kenyan office in Nairobi, the seventh EMP office in the MEA region, following Cairo, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Amman and Dubai.

The opening of the EMP office in Kenya is a key strategic initiative for EMP,” explained Paul Edwards, Executive Chairman of the EMP Group, during the company’s official launch. “We already serve over 130 banks and 30,000 merchants in 35 countries in the region.”

Improved access to financial services means a better GDP for Kenya

Edwards stresses that although M-Pesa has made great strides towards implementing Kenya’s electronic payment infrastructure, he believes that the country is still far from enjoying the payment structure it needs in order to support a modern, dynamic and thriving economy.

Kenya and the East Africa region are a highly attractive market for us,” states Edwards. “We currently have 14 bank customers in the region, but given the commitment from the government and Central Bank of Kenya, we expect to see a significant push towards a more cash-less society and a higher standard of electronic banking services.”

There’s little doubt about why EMP wants to be in Kenya, with the company now being able to tap a 140 million people strong East African Community market through their Nairobi branch.

A larger variety of payment options

EMP brings with it a comprehensive range of payment options for Kenyans, including:

  • A full range of card schemes
  • Card payment options
  • Mobile payment
  • E-commerce channels
  • E-government services (including national I.D. with payment capability, subsidy management and social welfare payments)

Kenya to benefit from EMP’s experience

We believe we can play a key role in the evolving national payments system,” divulges Edwards. “We are the most experienced EMV processor on the continent, having been promoting the standard for over 10 years.”

Edwards further explains that Kenya’s GDP cannot experience its full growth potential without a good financial services infrastructure in place. EMP believes that they have the experience and expertise to bring this facility to Kenya.

Wayne Harris, EMP’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, claims that at the end of 2012 there were an average of 46 cards per 100 adults in Kenya, with an estimated 12% growth rate in the coming period.

The electronic banking infrastructure is growing as well,” states Harris. “EMP has already partnered with four banks in Kenya prior to its official launch and we expect the number to increase significantly over the next year.”

EMP, owned in majority by UK private equity firm Actis Capital, is focusing on the growing mobile money trend, as well as working on implementing the now standard use of chip and pin technology transaction cards within the MEA region.

For further reading, go to these sites:

  1. Gladys Mwadime, “Emerging Markets Payments Enters Kenyan Market”, Tech Moran, 11 June 2014. Available at:
  2. Constant Munda, “Egypt’s e-payment firm enters Kenyan market”, The Star, 13 June 2014. Available at:
  3. Electronic payments firm enters Kenyan market”, Biztech Africa, 12 June 2014. Available at:–&story=9574e80f05
David Okwara

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