Payments in Kenya: Past, Present, and Future

Posted on Oct 27, 2022 by CBPN on behalf of Central Bank of Kenya

The articles in this feature have been written under the stewardship of Mr. Michael Eganza and Ms. Nita Omanga, respectively, the Director and Deputy Director in the Central Bank of Kenya’s Banking and Payment Services Department. Overall technical direction and editing was done by Gitau Mburu, Head of Payments Policy Development and Data Analysis. Contributions for the articles was also received from: Corazon Kamaan, Catherine Gitonga, Diana Odhiambo, Elijah Enock, Elizabeth Murigu, Julie Oduor, Leonard Kipsanai, Luke Plapan, Mike Kiptepkut, Paul Kariuki, Priscilla Keitany, Timothy Kimalel, and Stephen Wambua. While the articles have been written by CBK staff, they do not necessarily represent the official position of the Central Bank of Kenya on the topics discussed. Questions or clarifications can be sent to

Kenya’s Retail Payment System: Past, Present, and Future

By Gitau Mburu, Head of Payment Services Policy Development & Data Analysis, Central Bank of Kenya

Kenya’s payments ecosystem has undergone major developments and shifts over the last few decades. Its innovation is globally acclaimed. The Central Bank of Kenya is building on past gains to enhance the security, stability, customer-centricity, and risk mitigation aspects of Kenya’s retail and mobile money system, in line with the National Payments Strategy 2022-2025 that was launched in February 2022.

Improvements to Kenya’s Large-Value Payments Infrastructure

By Stephen Wambua, Head of RTGS/KEPSS, Central Bank of Kenya

Kenya’s Real Time Gross Settlement system remains the backbone for large-value and time-critical payments. The planned rollout of new RTGS platform enhancements, and adoption of the ISO20022 standard, will enable CBK to keep the wheels of the economy running, in line with the Bank’s vision of being A World Class Modern Central Bank.

Lessons from the Pandemic in Enhancing Payments Supervision and Oversight

By Timothy Wafula, Senior Manager, Oversight and Compliance, Central Bank of Kenya

Key lessons from COVID-19 measures and oversight activities are now enabling the CBK to increase the standard, and regulatory, expectations that PSPs ought to meet in order to improve payment availability, reliability, and resilience—key features that proved necessary during the pandemic period and will continue to be going forward.

CBK’s Role in Promoting Efficiency in Government Payments

By Evelyn Anyona, Manager, Digital Channels, Central Bank of Kenya

Improvements in Government payment platforms have enabled the Central Bank of Kenya to discharge its roles to the Government efficiently and effectively. Further automation will drive the CBK closer to offering best-in-class services to Government institutions, in line with the Bank’s vision of being A World Class Modern Central Bank.

Growing Role in Diaspora Remittances

By Peter Nzalu, Manager, Monetary Market Intelligence, and Julius Mutemi, Manager, Policy Development and Data Analysis, Central Bank of Kenya

Remittance flows to Kenya have recorded steady growth over the last few years, thanks to increased opportunities among the diaspora population, attachment to their domestic social networks, and a thriving mobile money ecosystem that has facilitated steady flows even during the pandemic period.

Placing Customer Needs at the Heart of Payment Services

By Gitau Mburu, Head of Payment Services Policy Development & Data Analysis, Central Bank of Kenya

Payment services are rapidly changing due to technological developments, domestically and globally. However, one thing remains constant: the need to place the customer at the heart of product design and delivery. The Central Bank of Kenya continues to support—and challenge—PSPs and banks to place customer needs at the heart of their governance, operations and innovation.

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