How to become a Payment Service Provider in Kenya

With cash no longer king, Kenya’s traditional banking model has undergone an unprecedented transformation. There is a heightened acceptance of internet-ready payment platforms that are faster, hassle-free, and efficient. Payment service providers have developed to satisfy the growing appetite for solutions such as contactless payment.

A payment service provider is a person, company, or organization acting as a provider concerning the processing of payments through any electronic system, or controls a public switched network for the provision of payment services; processes or stores data on behalf of such payment service providers or users of such payment services;

The National Payment System Act 2011 and the National Payment system regulation 2014 outline the criteria and prerequisites for registration as a Payment system provider in Kenya.

How to become a payment service provider in Kenya

Prospective payment service providers should make an application for the registration of a premise in writing. Upon completion, the duly signed application form and relevant documents are submitted to the central bank for approval.

Upon submission of the application documents, the applicant shall pay a non-refundable application fee of Kshs 5000.

The central bank considers all factors relating to the application and if satisfied that the applicant has met all the requirements, an authorization permitting the applicant to commence the business of payment services upon receipt of authorization fees is issued.

Where an application is unsuccessful, the bank shall communicate the reasons for its decision to the applicant. It may impose conditions to be complied with by the applicant before re-submitting the application for consideration.

Payment service providers are required to make an application for renewal of authorization to the central bank as set out in the First Schedule, at least two months before the expiry of approval.

Requirements and documents.

  •   The proposed names to the CBK in descending order of preference;
  •  A duly completed application form accompanied by the following documents:
  • Certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, the memorandum, and articles of association indicating core capital as per the First Schedule.
  •  Certified copy of the Tax Personal Identification Number (PIN) Certificate.
  • Certified copy of a valid license from the Communication Authority Kenya and copy of the management agreement for a mobile payment service provider.
  • The type of services to be offered and the program of operations to offer these services.
  • A business plan.
  • Outlines of proposed infrastructure and internal controls.
  •  Description of how the payment service provider shall settle the payment obligations arising from its provision of electronic retail transfers;
  •  Verified official notification of the company’s registered place of business.
  • Terms and conditions that will apply to its customers, agents, and cash merchants;
  • Current tax compliance certificate from the Kenya Revenue Authority;
  • The latest report from the Credit Reference Bureau;
  •  Letter of no objection from the home regulatory authority where the applicant is a subsidiary of a foreign company,
  •  Evidence that the payment service provider holds the initial capital set out in the First Schedule;

For individual natural persons

  • Curriculum Vitae and certified copies of academic and professional certificates.
  • Evidence and disclosure of the source of funds.
  • Certified copies of National Identity Card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) certificate.
  • Four recent color passport size photographs, of which at least one must be certified.
  •  Names of three independent referees who have known the proposed shareholder/officer for at least five years.
  •  A recent (not more than three months since issuance) credit report from a licensed credit reference bureau.

For Companies, Firms, or Other Corporate Entities:

  •  Certified copy of the company’s Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Registration of Business or other entity.
  • Certified copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, Partnership Agreements, or Constitution of the Association/body.
  •  Certified copy of the organization’s Personal Identification Number (PIN) certificate.
  •  Resolution of the Board of Directors or General Meeting authorizing the investment.
  • The name and addresses of the Regulator and a certified copy of  the license to operate
  •   Audited Financial Statements for at least the last three years.
  •   Evidence of and disclose the source of funds, e.g., certified copies of bank statements, fixed deposit receipt, government securities.
  •  Total number of and the percentage of shares to be acquired.
  • Ultimate beneficiaries of shares to be acquired.
  • A credit report from a licensed credit reference bureau

   Foreign Companies

Foreign companies intending to set up local subsidiaries will be required to submit further information, including:

  •   A copy of the board resolution authorizing the entity to invest in the business of payment service in Kenya,
  •  Historical background of the foreign entity
  •  Letter of No Objection from the Home Supervisory Authority.
  •  A signed declaration by the board of directors to adhere to the NPS Act and Regulations issued thereunder and other relevant Kenyan Laws at all times during the validity of the authorization.
  • List of all countries they operate from, including the details of respective regulators.

The completed application form, together with the relevant documents indicated above, should be submitted in person to the following address;

DIRECTOR,

BANKING SERVICES, NPS & RISK MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT

CENTRAL BANK OF KENYA

HAILE SELASSIE AVENUE

P.O BOX 60000 – 00200

NAIROBI

Some examples of payment service providers in Kenya are;

  •   Pesapal
  •   Africa’s Talking
  •   MPESA
  •  Jenga
  •  Sapama Cash
  •  Jambo Pay

Would you like to become a Payment Service Provider in Kenya? Contact us on info@capitaregistrars.co.ke for a consultation.

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