The Kenyan government has expressed a confidence vote for the implementation of the Huduma Card in the country and its role in guiding financial inclusion. The announcement was highlighted during the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2017 on Africa, and is in line with events focused on showing how Africa is ensuring that its citizens are enhanced through inclusion.
Research conducted by the World Bank indicates that financial inclusion is progressing well in Kenya, where 75% of adults have an account, however, a key pillar of Kenya's 2030 Vision is improving the efficiency and transparency of public services and of payments to bring even more Kenyans into the financial ecosystem. This is the key to the sustainable growth of any economy.
Mastercard, as one of Huduma's official technology partners, ensures that the card offers a secure and convenient way for citizens to make transactions. The company is driven to replace cash and is committed to empowering 500 million people worldwide by 2020. Huduma's partnership is a key part of the strategy to achieve this goal.
"With a successful pilot behind us, we are confident that the nationwide launch of the Huduma Card will be successful, meeting the expectations of the Kenyan government and the needs of all Kenyans. The road to achieving our long-term goal of reaching 13 million citizens for a period of seven years is already underway, "says Dennis Mutuku, CEO of Huduma Kenya Secretariat.
Mutuku stressed that as part of the roll-out strategy, the Huduma team is exploring various options to guide the use of paper. One of these examples was the recent launch of the public transport pilot in collaboration with Matatu operators. He noted that, given the country's dependence on public transport, the introduction of transit payment solutions will help to reach more people with greater need in a meaningful and practical way.
"The history of Huduma in Kenya can be considered an important example in the rest of the continent of how technology, innovation and collaboration between public and private partners can be exploited to implement flexible and secure payments that facilitate inclusive growth" , says Daniel Monehin, Division President and Lead Financial Inclusion for International Markets, Mastercard.
The continued collaboration between partners in the public and private sectors is the key to implementing these large-scale initiatives that aim to develop strong financial ecosystems. This is a central theme in WEF Africa, where sharing knowledge in the creation of a digital continent is considered vital. Kenya is at the beginning of its journey with the implementation of the card, but already the potential of the prepaid card solution is evident. Mutuku strengthened the fact that it is a journey, mentioning the fact that, in order to ensure implementation, the key implementation steps can not be overlooked.
"Providing citizens across the continent with more consistent solutions to interact and access government services remains one of our key priorities and we will continue to work with market leaders to ensure that Africans benefit from continued innovation that will provide more inclusive economic ecosystems.
The Huduma Card multi-purpose prepaid card can be easily obtained at various Huduma Center centers and the four partner bank branches (CBA, DTB, EQUITY, KCB) - and since the applicants do not require a credit check or bank account to be applied, Kenya in particular, under-bench citizens benefit from being financially included and able to pay and receive critical government services.
With its chip and PIN technology, the Huduma Card allows citizens to make and receive social payments securely, conveniently and without cash in-store, online, over the phone, wherever Mastercard is accepted worldwide. Chip and PIN technology is a global standard to ensure that money is protected even if the card is stolen or lost - this additional protection ensures that recipients can receive their funds in an affordable and secure manner.
By integrating state services on systems that all Kenyans are benefiting from a vital public initiative such as the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), among others.