MasterCard, Paynet partner to encourage Kenyan migration to EMV

220px-MasterCard_Logo.svgMasterCard signed a deal with card processor Paynet Group on Wednesday to partner in a local initiative aimed at encouraging the migration from magnetic strip to EMV cards in Kenya.

The initiative brings together stakeholders from Kenya’s banking and payments technology sectors in an effort to quicken the pace of migration to EMV, the globally accepted standard for enhanced card payment security.

Paynet has worked to train bankers on the benefits of chip and PIN cards ahead of the March EMV migration deadline set by the Kenya Bankers’ Association.

“It is important that we move rapidly to safeguard consumer confidence,” Paynet CEO Bernard Matthewman said. “We believe the partnership with MasterCard today and the joint effort of all other stakeholders in ‘The Great Migration to EMV Chip’ will further grow the momentum of the campaign and enable this market reap the benefits of a highly innovative and secure card payments industry.”

Statistics from the Banking Fraud Investigations Department revealed that financial institutions lost an estimated $17.1 million to fraud between April 2012 and April 2013. While the losses are not all attributable to card fraud, the rising incidence of card fraud, particularly among the middle class, has required more aggressive measures to combat fraud.

“Kenya has recorded impressive growth in card usage in the last two years, with the value of card transactions rising over 74 percent to [$11.45 billion] between January and December 2012 alone,” James Wainaina, the vice president and area business head for MasterCard in East Africa, said. “But while we celebrate these gains, we also recognize that to maintain our momentum, we must do everything within our power to put in place measures that make it impossible for fraudsters to operate, and to constantly assure our customers that their card transactions are safe. As a global company, our endorsement of The Great Migration to EMV Chip’ campaign demonstrates our resolve and purpose to work with like-minded stakeholders to defeat rising card fraud.”

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