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Kenyatta University Partners with MasterCard and Equity Bank to Launch Alumni Card


Nairobi, Kenyatta University has unveiled a new prepaid, PayPass™ enabled card for its alumni body. The KU Alumni Card allows alumni to enjoy discounts with selected partners, ranging from hotels, bookshops and hospitals to insurance companies and mobile phone service providers.

The KU Alumni Card allows card holders to transact at over 34 million MasterCard points of sale worldwide as well as access money at all Equity Bank ATMs and agents.

Speaking during the unveiling of the card at the Laico Regency Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olive Mugenda said the card was meant to reward and recognise KU alumni. “A university is only as strong as its alumni. We are proud of what our alumni are doing out there and we want them to continue fostering the relationship they have with the University through the usage of this card,” she said.

In addition to allowing cardholders to carry out their day-to-day transactions, Kenyatta University will be offering discounts to its alumni at its outlets including the KU Conference Centre and the North Coast Beach Hotel. Card holders will also enjoy access to the Post Modern Library and will get discounts on tuition fees for their children.

Other partners offering discounts to cardholders include Safaricom, Text Book Centre, Automobile Association of Kenya, Apollo Insurance and Emergency Plus services (Red Cross).

“As an alumnus of Kenyatta University it gives me great pleasure to be working with the institution that prepared me for the world of finance,” said James Wainaina, Vice President and Area Business Head for MasterCard Worldwide in East Africa. “We are excited about including PayPass™ in this card.”

PayPass™ works by simply tapping on a specially equipped merchant terminal. The tap-and-go technology makes payment and checkout easier as it is faster than using cash and lets cardholders make everyday purchases without waiting to enter a PIN, signing a receipt or handing a card over to a cashier.

While the introduction of MasterCard’s PayPass™ is still relatively new in the Kenyan market, the technology is set to take off as consumers seek faster, safer and smarter ways to pay for everyday purchases. Consumers who use a contactless enabled card or device enjoy the same protections from fraud as they would with conventional MasterCard payments.

Dr. James Mwangi, Chief Executive of Equity Bank said: “What we are offering is a service that is in line with our vision of enhancing access to financial services. By promoting the use of cards to carry out financial transactions, we will be able to shape the future uptake of cashless transactions.” This initiative further enhances our partnership with MasterCard to provide contactless payment solutions which is more convenient. We are privileged to be rolling out this innovation with Kenyatta University which has been our long time partner along many lines including the opportunity to provide laptop loans to students, extending financial literacy to the local communities, and being our host and partner for the annual Education and Leadership Congress for the Wings To Fly scholars.”

Today 85 percent of the world’s transactions are still done in cash and cheques despite significant advancements in the payments space, but there is a growing trend across the globe for consumers moving from cash to cashless transactions. MasterCard envisions a world beyond cash and is working across the industry with key partners in the region so as to make provision for more and more people to enjoy the benefits of electronic commerce which is safer, more secure and transparent.

KU Alumni Card users will earn redeemable points each time they transact with the cards. They will also be able to load them by transferring funds directly from their Equity Bank accounts or via Safaricom’s mobile money platform Mpesa.

The KU Alumni Card is compliant with Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) standards, which have globally been accepted as the safest way to conduct cashless transactions, and have been adopted widely by developed economies, resulting in reduced card fraud and more efficient payment systems.

The partnership comes at a time when the country’s financial sector is seeking to migrate from the magnetic strip cards currently in use towards the more secure chip and PIN (EMV) cards.

The KU Alumni Cards are already available at all Kenyatta University Campuses and Equity Bank branches and agents countrywide. The application form is also available through the special website There will be a one-off cost of Ksh. 2,000, which translates to instalments of Ksh. 188 per month for one year.


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