KCB Bank Kenya Limited and eResident limited, a leading bill management and rental payment services company in Kenya has partnered to develop a digital platform that will ease rent collection between tenants and landlords in Kenya. The digital platform is an electronic payment (e-payment) solution which unlike the stereotyped rental collection models in the country will involve digital technology to collect and pay rent.
The digital platform which is entitled eResident will transform the real estate market in the country as it is set to digitalize dealings among major players in the competitive market. In addition, eResident will set a new standard for Kenya’s regulated real estate market as opposed to the time-consuming bureaucratic payment structure in the country. This means tenants will no longer have to deal with third parties (agents) or spend a long period of time before making payments in commercial banks.
According to Peter Kathanga, KCB Bank Corporate Banking Director, KCB is keen to bring to the market simple innovations that respond to developing trends which meet consumer needs. He also added that his innovation is crafted to cut across multiple payment channels such as credit and debit cards, mobile money transfers as well as bank deposits.
In his own remarks, the CEO of eResident Limited, James Ayugi said the company will raise the bars and improve rental payment through the fusion of technology. “We believe that technology can transform lives and enhance access to financial solutions. eResident, therefore, comes as a relief to landlords and agents who have found managing their properties hectic and tenants who end up losing valuable hours as a result of having to queue at banks to make their rent payments,” he said while addressing newsmen.
KCB bank, a commercial lender which has been at the fore of real estate financing in the country is currently the largest financier of home buyers in Kenya with a mortgage loan book of over $594.7 million USD. The new partnership is another giant stride as the bank continues to fortify its presence in Kenya’s real estate ecosystem, a market which continues to flourish owing to the continuous population increase in Kenya.
According to the company, the platform is open to thousands of people in the country, but access to services require registration through the eResident website. Tracking of payment and accounting functions such as reconciliation is easier on the platform. Moreover, the KCB and eResident partnership will involve the infusion of Kenya’s popular mobile money platform M-Pesa into the real estate market payment system.
The boom in the real estate market since the dawn of the 21st century has resulted in rising demand for housing units across the country, with Nairobi being the most preferable location. In recent years, both government and private individuals have invested millions of Kenyan shillings in new housing projects in Nairobi and other parts of the country.
Although the impact of Kenya’s real estate market on the economy plummeted in 2017 according to a report published by World Bank, the sector is recovering in 2018 due to an increase in demand. One of the major factors that led to the dip in 2017 is the lack of access to financing by most of the buyers. However, this has resulted in huge investments by stakeholders with the aim of solving the problem.