Standard Chartered Bank Kenya said on Monday it is exploring partnerships with Chinese financial technology (fintech) firms in order to boost its revenues.
Kariuki Ngari, chief executive officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank Kenya told Xinhua in Nairobi that as investment and trade ties between China and Kenya increase, its clients are looking at innovative ways to pay for cross border transactions.
“Depending on customer needs, we can integrate digital payment platforms such as Alipay and WeChat pay in order to promote a seamless settlement between Kenyan and Chinese traders,” Ngari said when Standard Chartered Bank Kenya announced its financial results for the first half of 2019.
Ngari observed that it would be more ideal to partner with Chinese fintech brands that have established market presence than to develop their own payment technologies.
The banker said that the Chinese business community is now playing a significant role in Kenya’s economy.
Standard Chartered Bank has established Chinese desks in their branches to cater for needs of its Asian clients.
Ngari said that over the past year, its loans to Chinese businesses had doubled as those who are once importing goods from the Asian nation are now manufacturing locally.
According to the financial results for the first six months of 2019, Standard Chartered Bank’s pre-tax profits hit 6.9 billion shillings (about 66.8 million U.S. dollars), a five percent growth as compared to a similar period last year.
Ngari said that the expansion in profit was driven by a decrease in total interest expense as a result of proactive management of the balance sheet.