Kenswitch

Kenswitch is a shared financial switch that comprises of a consortium of more than 20 commercial banks in Kenya, which facilitates the delivery of electronic banking services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the use of various delivery channels.  The venture is supported by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) together with the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) under the auspices of the National Payment Systems (NPS) Modernization and Reform Process Project whilst Kenswitch remains 100% owned by LXS. Kenswitch provides the following solutions: Service Activation, Account Enquires, Cash & Cheque Services, Bill Payments and Money Transfer Services.

  • Kenswitch was established with the primary objective of creating a common switch and ATM network between various small and medium sized banks in Kenya.

  • The switch went live on December 2002 and to date Kenswitch is a shared financial switch that comprises of a consortium of more than 20 commercial banks in Kenya, which facilitates the delivery of electronic banking services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the use of various delivery channels.

Kenswitch's product and services are centralised around "switching" services. This switching services concentrates currently on two channels namely; ATM and POS driving.  The POS Channels are categorised into two types; namely stand-alone and integrated POS. Kenswitch plans to operate a mobile channel in the near future.

ATM Channel

The ATM channel makes provision for services such as balance enquiry, cash withdrawal, deposits, money transfer, bill payments, etc.  The number of ATMs has grown in excess of 275 in over 60 towns throughout Kenya.

Stand-alone POS Channel

The stand-alone POS channel is where a stand-alone POS terminal allows cards to be swiped at merchant locations for payments of goods and/or services. This incorporates the requirement for a PIN (personal identification number) similar to the one at ATMs and makes the transaction more secure whilst minimising the incidences of fraudulent transactions.  In addition to the traditional stand-alone POS device being dial-up, the POS technology such as GPRS (General Packet Radio Servce) technologies has the advantage of being portable through the use, which means that the device can be brought to the cardholder for example at a restaurant or their car at a service station.

Integrated POS Channel

The integrated POS channel is where a POS device interfaces to a checkout till at merchant locations.  These are most commonly used in retail outlets where a multilane environment exists.  Services such as cash-back where the cardholder is able to draw cash together with purchases from the retailer is enabled due to the close proximity with the cash register.  In addition these multilane environments are also popular for administering perpary and loyalty schemes.

Kenswitch's Role

Kenswitch's role is to manage the network of terminals; ensure correct routing of transactions; authorisations; pinmailer issuance and timely accurate clearing of settlement data. 

MANAGEMENT

George Wainana joined Kenswitch in July of 2002 as its General Manager, a position he holds to date. Mr. Wainaina has over 10 years experience at senior level with focus on business development and management within the Payments and ICT sectors across Africa. His responsibilities across the holding company, Loita Transaction Services, include the development of the business cases for the National Payment switches of Sudan, Ethiopia and Zambia. Prior to joining Kenswitch, George worked for the Fintech Group of Companies where he held various management positions including heading the Internet Service Provider, Finnet Communications Limited. He also consulted as a Systems Engineer for the Texaco oil conglomerate in the Republic of Angola. Mr. Wainana is a Kenyan citizen and holder of a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree and a Master in Business Administration (Finance) both from the University of Nairobi in Kenya.