An exhibitor staff member introduces Alipay to a visitor during the Alibaba E-Commerce Expo in Sydney, Australia, Aug. 30, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

Barclays Bank of Kenya is considering integrating WeChat Pay and Alipay into its virtual banking platform, an official said on Friday.

Andrew Mwithiga, head of virtual banking at the Barclays Bank of Kenya, told Xinhua in Nairobi that China has emerged as a key trading partner of Kenya and this has resulted in the need for the development of seamless channels for the timely and convenient settlement of cross border financial transactions.

“We are keen to enter into strategic partnerships that transcends banks, telecommunication and financial technology companies both within inside and outside the country and this may include Wechat Pay and Alipay in order to improve our customer experience,” Mwithiga said during the media policy forum on the impact of virtual banking on the financial value chain that was organized by Kenya’s Strathmore University Business School (SBS).

A staff member shows a WeChat Pay QR code at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, Canada, May 11, 2017. (Photo: Xinhua)

Mwithiga said that China can no longer be ignored due to its economic prowess that has made it a preferred source for manufactured goods.

“We are now seeing small entrepreneurs source goods directly from China resulting in the need for innovative digital platforms to send money across borders,” he added.

Barclays Bank said developments in telecommunications and internet connectivity have made mobile phone, a key channel through which consumers can access financial services.

Mwithiga said that consumers of financial services are now moving towards digital and social media platforms and hence banks need to innovate in order to remain competitive.