The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) this morning introduced an additional way of paying park entry fees and other charges besides cash and cheques.
The KCB credit/debit card payment system that accepts Visa, MasterCard and Kenswitch will also broaden payment to more currencies other than the usual Kenyan shilling and US dollar.
The new electronic funds transfer system makes it more convenient for tourists to pay for their entry into national parks and reserves as well as other services.
KWS Director Julius Kipng’etich and Kenya Commercial Bank CEO Martin Odour-Otieno signed the merchant agreement and tested the new electronic funds transfer system using KCB (PDQ) terminals at the Nairobi National Park.
Mr Odour-Otieno said KCB was glad to provide financial solutions to conservation and reduce the risk KWS faces while holding large sums of money during tourism peak seasons.
Mr Kipng’etich noted that the new mode of payment meant that Kenya was going cashless 30 years later after Europe adopted such technology. He challenged bankers to devise ATM-based technology for loading park entry charges. He said the introduction of the electronic funds transfer system was part of the KWS five-year Strategic Plan which focuses on people, technology and image. “We will use technology as an efficiency multiplier to improve customer service.” He called on the technology and banking industries to come up with an ATM-based product to further the mode of payment. The terminals will be installed in 40 pay points by the end of the year in major national parks and reserves across the country. KWS aims to be paperless in revenue collection next year.
KWS Director Julius Kipngetich and Martin Oduor being shown electronic payment terminals
So far, the terminals have been installed at five other pay-points including Nairobi Safari Walk, Kifaru Gift Shop, Nairobi Animal Orphanage, KWS headquarters cash office and the newly-rebranded Hells Gate National Park in Naivasha. This is an immediate and secure method of payment that will reduce cash handling overheads to KWS as well as reduce risks of handling cash. It will also offer access to international cards and funds.