What’s it with the boda boda guys?

They are sometimes a deplorable lot, morally decadent and vulgar loudmouths. Yet, an integral part of the social fabric that holds communities together.

It’s no wonder then that everyone has a favorite boda boda guy.

Like apples in a barrel, they come in a variety. While the group largely has outstanding, morally upright individuals, a barrel of apples definitely won’t lack a pair or so of rotting specimen – and, this is what tarnishes an otherwise good past time.

There are several types in this barrel.

The Talkative Fellow will not let you settle on the bike seat properly, before he starts talking. It doesn’t matter if you are listening or not….he’ll rat out on which of his colleagues takes a shower or doesn’t. He’ll remind you of the day the beer truck tipped over at the market. They are conniving bastards – he calculates his speed based on the distance to your destination, so that every story doesn’t hang off halfway.

Sometimes, the talkative fellow hasn’t brushed his teeth, for days. Now, that’s a bad day for you!

The Political Rider keeps tabs on the political trends of the day.

“Hey, unaona huyu jamaa wetu akipata hii kiti tena?” He asks, wind blowing spittle backwards into your face.

You don’t like politics, but he keeps turning his head to catch your reply.

“Hapana, hajafanya kitu – huoni hii bara bara inataka repair?” You answer, timidly.

You realize it’s a mistake the minute you let the words fly out. He skids to a halt, dust flying. He turns to face you. Oblivious of time, the political rider then lurches into a 10-minute monologue on why the incumbent is still his candidate of choice. After a while, getting fidgety, you remind him that the next elections are still three years short.

“Maisha ni siasa, rafiki”, He says, sighing in exasperation at your apparent ignorance. Mercifully, he fires up his rickety bike.

The rider that puts your inner strength and fortitude to the test, is The Filthy, Dirty Rider. This guy hasn’t had a change of clothes in recent times. Sometimes, he’s dreadlocked and God-knows-what lives in those dreadlocks.

In a twist of irony, this type is usually very popular around bus termini, and their bikes? Oh, man. Their bikes are spotless, shiny and kitted out with fancy gadgetry.

The filthy guy lets the bike market itself. He doesn’t sit on it as he waits for clients. You’ll point the parked shiny bike – and the rider shall emerge from the shed. Since you’ve already made your pick, you’ll have to endure the ride.

You’ll suffer a mixture of disgusting body smells.

The Professional Rider.

This is the most likeable guy. He’s punctual and well-dressed in jeans, boots and heavy jackets. Unlike his peers above, he has a functional cell phone, and most clients call for services. Before the lockdown, business would run well past the night as he’s created a trustworthy client base.

One such professional is challenging his boda boda peers in my locality.

When Covid-19 pandemic struck, he’s had to change with the times. He’d invested in masks and sanitizers. The social distance directive that advises one client on a bike? He takes it seriously.

On payments, he’s turned to cashless payments. He has a Co-op Bank account. Recently, he learnt that Co-op Bank assists business owners to get M-Pesa Till numbers for their businesses, he didn’t waste time. The bank assisted him get one for his bike business at no cost!

A boda boda guy with an M-Pesa till number sticker on the fuel tank! That’s ingenious!

Now, his clients pay his bills via the M-Pesa till number on the bike’s tank, and the money is deposited straight into his Co-op Bank account.

Business owners can learn more on E-commerce Business Solutions or visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments at no cost.

#StaySafe.

The Co-operative Bank Group has an encouraging winning angle against the obstacles occasioned by the ravaging pandemic to report a Profit before Tax of Kshs 5.1 Billion for the first quarter of 2020, a performance closely reflecting last year’s 2019 first quarter results. Profit after Tax was Kshs 3.6 Billion.

The Group has a comprehensive mitigation strategy to cancel out an unpredictable working environment demanded by the Covid-19 pandemic. They have a strategy intended to ensure full banking services continue being accessible to customers in a safe environment consistent with the Ministry of Health guidelines. Most attention has been thrust to digital channels, and branches remain open albeit with constant attention to detail to keep clients safe.

The report has a few highlights;

  1. Profit&Loss
  • Total operating income grew by 12.5%from Kshs 11.1 Billion to Kshs 12.5 Billion
  • Total non-interest income increased by 19% from Kshs 4.2 Billion to Kshs 5.0 Billion
  • Net interest income increased by 8.5% from Kshs 6.9Billion to Kshs 7.5 Billion

Total operating expenses grew by 20.6% from Kshs 7.3 Billion on account higher loan loss provision and staff expenses.

  1. Balance sheet
  • Total assets grew by Kshs 44.7% (+10.5%) to Kshs 470.4 Billion from Kshs 425.7 Billion recorded in the first quarter 2019.
  • Net loans and advances book grew by 24.5 Billion (9.8%) to stand at Kshs 276.2 Billion compare to Kshs 251.6 Billion in 2019.
  • Investment in government securities grew by Kshs 22. 9 Billion (+11.5%) to Kshs 115.9 Billion compared to Kshs 103.9Billion in 2019.
  • Customer’s deposits grew by 6.9% from Kshs 317.8 Billion to Kshs 339.6 Billion.
  • Borrowed funds from development partners grew by Kshs 3.7 Billion (+15.5%) to Kshs 27.4 Billion compared to Kshs 23.7 Billion in 2019.
  • Shareholders’ funds grew from Kshs 82.0 Billion (+12.7) from Kshs 72.8 Billion in 2019.This has enabled the bank to continue to pitch for big ticket deals.
  1. Innovative customer delivery platform.
  • Through our multi-channel strategy ,the bank has successfully moved almost 90% of all customers transactions to alternative delivery channels ,an expanded 24-hour contact center ,mobile banking ,584 ATMs, internet and over 16,700 Co-op Kwa Jirani Banking agents
  • A successful universal banking model and the implementation of Sales Force Effectiveness has seen the group serve over 8 Million Account holders across all sectors.
  • Key focus on digital banking ,with all -telco MCo-op Cash mobile wallet continuing to play a pivotal role in the growth of non-funded income with 5.6 Million customers  registered  and loans with over Kshs. 16 Billion disbursed in quarter 1 2020
  • Over 85, 252 customers have taken up the MSME packagers that we rolled  out in 2018, and 5,000 have been trained on business management and planning .We have earmarked  Kshs 15.2 Billion to MSME lending ,with Kshs 12.4 Billion disbursed to date.
  • Our unique model  of retailing  banking services  through Sacco FOSAs enabled us provide  wholesale financial services to over 479 FOSA outlets and issue over 1.8 million Sacco -link cards.

In a press release, Dr. Gideon Muriuki, Group Managing Director & CEO, also gave credence to the bank’s subsidiaries, like The Co-op Bank of South Sudan with a profit before tax of Kshs.20.7 Million before tax in first quarter 2020. Another major one is the Co-op Consultancy and Insurance Agency with a Kshs.250.5 Million contributed as at 31st March, 2020; and Co-op Trust Investment adding Kshs.20.5 Million.

In addition, the Group has re-aligned close to Kshs.15 Billion to cushion their clients servicing loans from the effects of the pandemic. Co-op clients have had loan repayment periods lengthened, adjusted interest moratorium periods and additional funding if need be to ride out the difficult period.

The Board of Directors have also approved the talks leading to 100% acquisition of Jamii Bora Bank Ltd, which has an asset base of Kshs.20.5 Billion. Due diligence for the acquisition is ongoing.

The Co-op Bank foundation also reports providing scholarships to a tally of 7,657 gifted but needy students across the country since inception. These scholarships cover includes full fees from secondary too university level, internships and later job openings.

Recently, Co-op Bank also boosted the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund with a cash donation of Kshs.100 Million.

In light of these details, it’s not a surprise that Co-op Bank was named Overall Winner of the Kenya Banker’s Association (KBA) 2019 Sustainable Finance Catalyst Award.

Good riddance to the good old days.

It’s debatable if the past days indeed merit the ‘Good Old Days’ tag. If you flinch whenever you hear that line, you ain’t alone. Everything new is better.

Old days versus new days, which is better?

The progressive amongst us would fight tooth and nail for new times. Healthcare is better. Roads and rail systems are better. In the so-called ‘Good Old Days’, simple mail would take ages to reach the intended party. There’s been huge strides in human rights activism and community awareness on topical issues like gender equality, FGM or even cattle rustling.

New is certainly better.

In urban and rural landscapes, a shopping center would have an influential, family-run business. This business would occupy an imposing building middle of the settlement, or a major street. The major flaw with such family-ran businesses, is that they’d be named after the family patriarch, and tag the sons.

Like, Mungai & Sons Textiles. Or, Mutisya & Sons Enterprises.

It didn’t matter if that family had a single son and several daughters, they’d be ignored. In some cases, the sons in a family would be useless drunks in that society, they’d still be tagged beside the founding father in the business.

Luckily, thanks to a spirited gender equality campaign, things have changed. The feminine gender has proved to be better entrepreneurs and better business minds to not run generational investments to the ground.

Bang in the middle of Kericho Town’s business district, nestled in a behemoth of a glass building, runs a girl-run business that’s the envy of other family-owned businesses.

We celebrate Jebet & Daughters Bakers Ltd, in Kericho Town.

Jebet is a robust, brilliant lady – perhaps in her early 60’s – who founded and grew a baking business from a modest, cramped corridor-shop in the late 90’s. While it’s hard to picture her humble beginnings considering her current level, Rebecca intimates a difficult start. She’d dropped from school and found employment as a house girl, but quit after a few months to follow her passion. She’d rent a tiny shop off a corridor.

She’d bake tea cakes, then popularly known as Kaimati – and deliver to other businesses within her street.

Over the years, Jebet would grow from a tiny shop, rent bigger space, and hire staff. Besides, she’d juggle this motherhood as she was blessed with twin daughters one year into the business. However, the father to the twins passed away in a road crash. She’d chosen to remain strong and focused to keep her business afloat, and raise her daughters.

Those were the hard days. The business has grown to command a huge section of the bread industry in the Rift Valley. She’d incorporate her daughters, after college. Jebet and Daughters Ltd was born, and has since landed contracts to supply bread and confectionery to government establishments, NGO’s and learning institutions.

During this interview, the business mogul shuns formalities – insists to be addressed simply as ‘Jebet’. She’s quick to credit their success to a good working relationship with their banking partner, Co-op Bank.

Becky tells us that Coop has heavily invested in the convenient e-Commerce solution. It allows her to easily and safely make transactions with institutions, and receive instant updates on payments.

All payments are made to her business’s Co-op bank account, and the e-Commerce solution has an outstanding real-time processing speed. For NGO’s clients, the solution also allows payments in any currency – GBP, USD, EURO, or KES, which is convenient for both parties.

On her shop network in various streets, which used to run 24 hours before the Covid-19 pandemic, she insists on cashless payments. The Co-op Bank M-Pesa Paybill number 400200 is displayed conspicuously – allows direct payments to her Co-op Bank account. This is the same case with outlets in neighboring towns – the bank had assisted her get M-Pesa Till numbers for each outlet. All this is done free of charge.

It’s fascinating to learn how this business lady runs her business from a central office, and still find time for chit chat. Her business template would be a good starting point for other business owners with a desire to survive the harsh economic state in the country.

Visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch to learn about the e-Commerce solution for your business, or log into the online banking platform. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments.

Long live Jebet & Daughters Bakers Ltd, Kericho.

Every apartment block, or neighborhood has that one couple. That one couple that defines the life of that settlement. It’s usually a couple of seemingly mismatching partners – either in temperament or physical parameters.

The husband may be a dark, menacing, unsightly beast, while the wife comes off as fragile, beautiful and comely. The Beauty and the Beast fairy tale scenario. In other instances, the wife may be a landmine always waiting to explode, often in cross-balcony angry altercations – perhaps, even physical tussles. The hubby, though, contrasts as a living teddy bear, hard to irritate and always smiling.

Yet, they live happily.

I have been a Ruaka resident ever since I landed in Nairobi. Everyone knows everyone in my neighborhood – akin to an Ujamaa Village in pre-independence Tanzania.

Presently, I live in an apartment block off the main street, Munyeki Street. This section is hailed as Ruaka’s main artery in grocery and cereals.

This neighborhood has that one interesting couple.

Nyawira is a pleasant, bubbly, middle-aged light-skinned lady with a ground floor shop selling cereals and general household goods. She is always smiling and her infectious laughter rings along the busy street all day long. As expected, her shop is always ringed with customers – some haggling just for haggling’s sake.

Directly across the street, there’s Nyawira’s husband with a wholesale and retail charcoal outlet. He’s not a man of many words. He’s fondly known amongst resident college students as Mr. Grumpy. Stacked along his shop’s veranda, there are rows and rows of metallic tins brimming with charcoal. Unlike his chatty wife across the street, Mr. Grumpy’s premises is a No-Haggling Zone.

“Nipe makaa ya fifty”, a client says. Mr. Grumpy points at the relevant metallic tin.

The regulars know Mr. Grumpy’s work ethics. No one offers cash. There’s a colored poster on his door with a Lipa Na Mpesa Till Number 400200. All clients pay via the number, and Mr. Grumpy checks his battered phone. The number allows direct deposits to their Co-op Bank account.

Across the street, it sounds like a fun fair. Nyawira is juggling business with a couple of women and a little bit of good-natured banter.

“Mi staki mniletee Corona hapa!” Nyawira shrieks. “Keep distance. I still have a husband to look after!”

They entirely turn to look at Mr. Grumpy lounging in his seat across the street. Mr. Grumpy adds a new brow line to his usual scowl, for effects.

“Na staki pesa cash hapa.” Nyawira is at it again. “If pesa zenu ziko kwa bank account, piga transfer direct to my Co-op Bank account.”

“What if I don’t bank with them?” Asks Lucy, new at the shop.

“Usijali mamaa,” Nyawira soothingly assures her. “Co-op Bank iko na solution noma sana. Wana accept payments even from other banks. Ama vipi bwanangu?” She teases her husband scowling across the street.

“Inaitwa the e-Commerce solution by Co-op Bank.” Mr. Grumpy growls. “Ata ukiwa na Dollars ama Pounds wako sawa”.

Legend has it that Mr. Grumpy has a definite number of daily words, and perhaps such a statement may have exhausted it. No worry, his cheery wife will make up for it.

Real comedy comes when a customer wants items form both shops. They pick a tin of charcoal from Mr. Grumpy and cross the street to pick groceries from Nyawira. Since it’s the same till number, there’s a comical exchange between them as they confirm the bills and payments.

If this couple ever decides to move from this street, a lot of us shall weep, and grieve in sack cloth. That unlikely couple is the life of our neighborhood.

#GoDigitalBanking

The Bundesliga is kicking off, over a BILLION people around the planet will watch it.

We have suffered for a long time, we have waited too long… But that’s the end of it! Top football is back, and the first of the strongest European leagues to start is the German Bundesliga!

The championship, which is known for great matches, a huge number of goals, and reversals, will first continue after the break due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It seems fate wanted us to get the Bundesliga out of the dry period, the queen of all European leagues in terms of attractiveness.

When the players of 12 German first leagues run on the fields (in special conditions and without an audience at the stadiums) in Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Leipzig, and Frankfurt tomorrow from 4:30 PM, the eyes of the whole world will be fixed on them through screens. Given that there are no other top sports facilities on offer, it is quite logical.

“As our league will be the only sports competition broadcast on TV this weekend, we estimate that a total of over a billion people will watch Bundesliga matches,” predicts Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern Munich’s General Manager.

The Bavarian giant is leading the round in Germany with 55 points after 25 rounds played, followed by Dortmund with 51 and RB Leipzig with 50 points. These three teams will lead the fight for the title, almost everyone agrees, although, for example, Monchengladbach has 49 and Leverkusen 47 points…

The long and unexpected break will bring an additional dose of uncertainty to the Bundesliga, because the big question is who coped, whether the players respected the recommendations for training at home, which of the players will be fit and ready to go out on the field, etc.

What does that tell us? Well, it is highly likely that “correctly predicting” BIGGER ODDS will be an easier job than ever because surprises are possible. And you will find the best offer for betting on the Bundesliga, as always, at MozzartBet.Co.Ke

See the dates of all matches of the 26th round of the Bundesliga, and by clicking on each of them, find out what the odds are and find your favorite:

Saturday

16:30 Augsburg – Wolfsburg

16:30 Dortmund – Schalke

16:30 Fortuna – Paderborn

16:30 Hoffenheim – Hertha

16:30 RB Leipzig – Freiburg

19:30 Eintracht – Monchengladbach

Sunday:

16:30 Cologne – Mainz

19:00 Union Berlin – Bayern

Monday:

21:30 Werder Bremen – Leverkusen

From tomorrow, everything will be different – top football is back, and soon the Germans will be joined by what everyone is waiting for the most, The Premier League.

 

There’s a common myth that’s taken root around us.

Has you heard someone say men do not engage in gossip? Well, let this myth be put to death by public stoning, just because it’s a lot of paperwork getting the largely conservative government to approve and provide a suitable firing squad.

Men gossip, and generally spread slander and hearsay to a great extent.

The only difference from women – accepted as ‘genetically programmed’ for gossip – is that the male gender is tactical while at it. Also, men hardly gossip out of spite or indignation but rather as a form of mild entertainment.

The male gender also rarely keep grudges. Out of sight, Out of mind.

Perhaps, the main reason that fuels the myth, is that men have a singular respect for their audience, and venue of this gossip. No self-respecting man will blurt information to a random neighbor they only meet on the stair landing.

Men have a circle of friends, and, most importantly, a purely masculine ‘gossip’ space devoid of the other gender that Biblically shaved Samson.

The Barber Shop. That neighborhood Kinyozi.

In the pre-Covid-19 days, the local barber shop was always packed. It was a typical man cave. Men would meet every evening after work to swap war stories. Modern war stories? Well, exaggerated versions of work and love conquests, EPL probable winners and definite losers…….list is endless.

In between, someone remembers that some flashy foreigner living on 2nd floor in his apartment block ships in mysterious bulky boxes every Tuesday at midnight. That juicy gem doesn’t leave the hallowed man cave.

A casual stroll to my Kinyozi gets me disappointed. I needed a trim, and stories. Its open, but none of the usual crowd. The seasoned barber/owner – Ricaldo – is also not at the premise, and his apprentice tells me he’s doing a house call.

In the face of the pandemic, Ricaldo has had to re-think tactics to keep his business afloat. He no longer allows a crowd at the premises. He offers new clients sanitization fluids and a surgical face masks free of charges. For regular clients, he does house calls – a client calls and makes an appointment for home services.

I know, not much for macho war stories in the house with the missus and kids around, neh? Can this pandemic end already!

Ricardo charges a small fee above the service fees, depending on the client’s home address to manage the overheads shuttling all over the estate.

He further embraced cashless payments for obvious reasons – liquid cash increases the risk of Covid-19 infection, and security concerns.

Ricaldo has a Co-op Bank account which allows clients to send money directly into the account using the Lipa Na M-Pesa Paybill number 400200 (at no cost). He’d also visited the local Co-op Bank branch whose staff assisted him acquire a Till Number for his barber shop – any payments are sent to his account. He monitors his apprentice’s payments in real time.

Ricaldo leans towards me. Like, someone with a huge secret.

“Well, I visited Kioko’s apartment block and got called to a door on 2nd floor. Turns out its full of some flashy foreigners….” He trails off.

“And? Come on, man!”

“Never mind. Just know they paid me very well – in US dollars and Sterling pounds. Directly to my Co-op Bank account – na si unapenda mushene jamaa!”

That’s how I first learnt of Co-op Bank’s iconic E-commerce solution for business owners.

Contact the nearest Co-op Bank branch for more details.

 

Monday – End of the weekend, start getting up early and going to work. The fun stops, and the commitments begin. Sounds scary doesn’t it? But it doesn’t have to be, because we give you seven tips on how to beat a terrible Monday:

1. Plan something fun in advance for Monday. Why wait for the weekend in order to have fun? Guys organize games,      ladies schedule coffee for Monday after work, and being in love might be the Monday night to start a romance?

2. Appreciate yourself. Buy yourself something nice and start your day with some flair, I promise you will feel much        better from the start of the day.

3. Don’t reschedule your appointments to Monday. We know that on Friday so many obligations are on the table,             and the easier plan usually is to move them to Monday. Try to finish them better on Friday or schedule some on           Monday, some on Tuesday and the day will certainly be easier.

4. Get some sleep. You are less sleepy on a Sunday, and full of energy to stay awake for a long time, but don’t fall into       the trap – lie down on time to have a brighter Monday!

5. Beautify the day with someone. Do something that will put a smile on your face – because it’s hard for them to fall       on Mondays. Give a compliment to a colleague at work, help a neighbour, and feel proud to have brightened                 someone’s Monday.

6. Remember the 7PM to 5AM curfew is still in effect. If you aren’t working from home, leave your work place by 4           PM as directed by authorities, so that you can reach home in time without the rush.

7. Treat yourself to a Happy Monday Bonus. Get the bonus that Mozzart has used to make Monday the day to always       look forward to. Login to your MozzartBet.Co.Ke account, because there may be a surprise that’ll put a smile back       on your face.

It’s a Monday, CLAIM YOUR BONUS NOW!

Nkubu Town is a mid-tier business and residential township in Meru County. While previously ranked ‘sleepy’, the town’s in hot pursuit of the county’s major administrative sibling – Meru town, just a couple of miles north. High rise business projects are slowly changing the town’s skyline, and I had a dream to be part of this new tide.

I chose to invest into the hardware business field – supply building materials. While I had majored in business in college, my folks (who were the principal financiers) had little faith in this venture. The ravaging Covid-19 virus situation also didn’t help. I had to be different.

I was also informed that the construction field was filled with fraudsters. Conniving contractors are a dime a dozen. I didn’t say lest I gave off a cocky vibe, but I’ve had encounters with fraudsters that had weaned me off.

The first was an experience in my first week in high school.

A day or two after reporting day, we had settled in class in the evening. An innocent bunch of ‘green monos’ – freshly issued uniforms crisp and fitting. We still hadn’t started lessons, as belated reporting was ongoing. We hadn’t met all the teachers, yet.

Presently, a pair of smartly dressed gents in fitting blazers and blue jeans (and, white sneakers) enter our class. They introduce themselves as Biology and Chemistry teachers. They are well-informed, and pleasantly casual. While one intimates that he’s wishing for an administrative allocation as our class teacher, the other says he’s keen on drama – wants to know if there are any acting enthusiasts in our lot.

The entire class instantly wanted to be the ‘Next Break-out Star’ in Drama Club!

After a while, they tell of their purpose to visit. They express regret that they welcoming us with bad news. The bad news? One of their colleagues – a Physics teacher – had passed on just a day earlier. The school tradition is that students and teachers contribute to some welfare fund for the bereaved family.

Long story cut short, a pair of flashy, smart-talking Fourth Formers ripped us off our pocket money, after a tall story. They were so good – they successfully repeated that charade in four streams. Of course, they couldn’t be traced.

I lost Kes.500 on that evening’s preps.

For my business, I decided to learn from one of the town’s most established hardware merchants – The Kinoti G.K Hardware. The business is located in an iconic building along the highway that splits the town.

Meeting the gentleman took a while, but I learnt a lot as I waited at the premises. One, he rarely worked there. He ran the business from home. Two, the customers rarely came to the premises. All day long, I’d see pick-up trucks getting loaded for deliveries to construction sites.

When we met, the pleasant gentleman was keen to share his business strengths, on a mentorship role.

He had opted for cashless payments, and its success to the E-commerce solution offered by his banking partner, Co-op Bank.

E-commerce afforded him a variety of advantages.

Customers do not need to be physically present. Payments can be transacted at any time from any location in the world and delivery is done. For instance, Kenyans in the diaspora with construction projects in their rural homes would pay make payments directly to his Co-op Bank account. Delivery of materials to the site is then made.

With an outstanding real-time processing speed with average authorisation response times typically below 2 seconds, such clients would find it very convenient, and safe.

There’s more sales, too, as E-commerce allows flexibility for multiple currencies – Kes, USD, GBP and Euro.

Besides, a customer enjoys a variety of cards: International VISA credit and debit cards, pre-paid cards.

While I’d like to serve clients even in the diaspora, I said that am targeting local customers. The merchant advises me to visit Co-op Bank. They’d assist me get a Lipa Na MPesa till number for my business.

In the face of danger with the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s safer to go cashless with the E-commerce solution from Co-op Bank.

#StaySafe #StayHome

 

 

The ravaging Covid-19 pandemic has dictated a rather drastic change to our livelihoods if we have to check its spread.

The business owners have had to embrace cashless means of payments, to lower their risk levels presented by use of hard cash. There’s need, therefore, for a reliable E-commerce platform.

To address that concern, The Co-operative Bank has heavily invested in E-commerce to guarantee safety and quick flow of payments to their clients – Merchants and their customers.

Here’s a preview of various advantages a merchant enjoys:

  1. Convenience to their customers consequently an increase in sales: Customers do not need to be physically present. Payments can be transacted at any time from any location in the world and delivery is done.
  2. Outstanding real-time processing speed with average authorisation response times typically below 2 seconds: quicker service delivery as payments reflect instantly.
  3. A customer enjoys a variety of card: International VISA credit and debit cards, pre-paid cards – which doubles safety and convenience on both ends.
  4. There’s more sales, as E-commerce allows flexibility for multiple currencies – Kes, USD, GBP and Euro
  5. The E-commerce solution gives unparalleled processing scalability and security – as it’s instant, and avoids the risks fraught with using hard cash.
  6. The merchants and their customers enjoy exceptional service reliability that’s backed by 24/07 operations support. In case of any hitch, there’s real-time assistance.
  7. E-commerce allows advanced fraud prevention solutions, on both the merchants’ and customers’ end.
  8. The ease of integration. A merchant using the E-commerce has accounting and book balancing cut out, as opposed to tedious paperwork occasioned by hard cash sales.
  9. Real-time reporting on payments and account statuses for trading partners.

Most importantly, with the E-commerce solution, merchants are now be able to receive payments not only from Co-op Bank card holders but also card holders from other banks.

Co-op Bank also offers other Cashless solutions to merchants. For instance:

  1. Lipa Na M-Pesa: The bank assists you get a till number so payments can be directly deposited into your Co-op bank account.
  2. POS/PDQ terminals: Customers do not need to handle hard cash. They can use their cards to make payments, and money is deposited directly into the merchant’s account.
  3. MCo-op Cash: Co-op bank customers with the mobile banking solution can conveniently transfer money directly from their Co-op account into the merchant’s Co-op account using the USSD number *667# or via the MCo-op Cash app.
  4. Lipa Na M-Pesa Paybill number 400200: Customers can use their phones to send money directly into the merchant’s Co-op bank account using the M-Pesa Paybill number 400200.

Merchants are encouraged to contact Co-op Bank for details and assistance.

The leading Kenyan sports gaming firm, Betika has extended support worth Kshs. 27 Million towards various initiatives geared towards combating the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In heeding the call by H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, Kshs. 6 Million of the funds will go directly to the private sector-led Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund to support the health sector and healthcare providers as they lead the fight against the virus.

The campaign through ‘Betika Na Community Initiative’, will see donations to this fund be used to purchase health supplies and equipment such as masks, nasal swabs, and testing kits. Low-income earners in an informal settlement will continue to be sensitized through various Betika channels on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

In addition to the Kshs. 6M, Betika has sheltered the sports fraternity with a Kshs. 20 Million boost during these unprecedented times that have seen all sporting events halted. The contribution will see the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage through Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed receive Kshs.15 Million to help cushion the sports industry in these tough times.

 

An additional Kshs. 5 Million will be directly sent to Betika National Super League and Kenya Premier league football players, with the support of FKF, to help them wade through the uncertain times that all Kenyans are going through. The Kshs. 5M cash is a timely boost for more than 1,050 football players across the country who will receive funds directly in their mobile wallets from Betika to support them and their families.

Betika has also donated Kshs. 1M to 16 students at the Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre (Chandaria-BIIC), based at Kenyatta University. The 16 students recently made the national limelight when they developed a locally made ventilator prototype which could be a game-changer in the fight against Coronavirus. This Centre that supports new and innovative ideas from students is in line with the firm’s vision that focuses on promoting youth and innovation.

Speaking during the handover, Mr John Mbatiah, the firm’s Business Head said, “We are dealing with an extraordinary crisis that requires all of us as Kenyans to take precautionary measures as guided by the Ministry of Health and also provide support to the men and women of this great country to be able to manage better the tough times they are going through.  We share in CS Amina’s call to help the sports men and women during these tough times which is at the very core of everything we are about. We believe as the leading betting firm in Kenya, it is our mandate that we support our men and women during this tough period to be able to provide for their families. We are deeply rooted in the local communities and by giving our support to the Kenyan Government relief fund, Ministry of Sports and other Sports organizations, we have the potential to build a stronger response capacity so that our communities are better equipped to face the outbreak’’.

“Being a Kenyan firm with over 90% of our workforce under 40, we know the importance of supporting the youth in this great country and that is why we chose to support the 16 students. This support confirms our commitment to investing in the community in any way possible. We may not fully cover the needs of the community, but we will play a significant part in changing lives of those that we are able to impact. We will continue to monitor the situation and extend further support to the relevant authorities and communities through the fund,” said Mr. Mbatiah.

 

FKF President Nick Mwendwa was humbled by the donation and appreciated the firm’s efforts to always being their partner. “I want to thank Betika for this kind gesture towards KPL and BNSL clubs, especially at this time when Kenyan Football is experiencing financial strain,” said FKF president Nick Mwendwa.

As a federation, we remain committed to exploring measures that cushion our players, right from the grass root to the top tier leagues during this time when football is largely affected by this global pandemic’’ added the FKF President.