Chase Bank and the University Students Community Organisation (UNISCOO) have launched a MasterCard prepaid card to be used by members of the student’s union to top up and shop at enabled merchant stores.
The card, according to the two, is aimed at giving the students an easy, secure and convenient way to manage funds.
James Wainaina, MasterCard’s vice-president for East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, said the card will go a long way in extending financial inclusion to those aged between 15 and 29 years in Kenya.
“The population of 15- to 29-year-olds in Kenya stands at about 26 percent of the population, therefore this step towards extending financial inclusion to the youth with a product that is tailored specifically to their needs,” he said.
Users can top up the card through any Chase Bank branch or through mobile money services such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money at no additional costs..
Among the benefits that come with the card include discounts at partner outlets such as Nakumatt supermarkets, Text Book Centre, Bata Shoes, Imax Cinema, Ashley’s Salon and Barbershop, Modern Coast, Airtel, Bidco Oil Refineries, Tesia Supermarkets and Samsung
“In the future, we have a great conviction that the UNISCOO MasterCard holders will earn smart points on purchases made at any of the 33 million retailers and businesses across the 210 countries that accept MasterCard,” said UNISCOO’s president Jed Ondiko.
Chase Bank’s assistant general manager John Fernandes termed the card as “a tool of empowerment and a key to the financial freedom that every young person should have.”
The MasterCard prepaid card is expected to increase financial inclusion in Kenya, which according to the Finscope Rwanda 2012 survey currently stands at 33 percent.
The card presents an opportunity for financial institutions to extend financial inclusion to the youth who have reportedly been excluded from formal banking.