Newly launched B2B platform Solv Kenya and payments provider Cellulant have announced a partnership that will enable Solv Kenya’s partners to access digital payments and collection services offered by Cellulant.
Following the announcement of Solv’s commercial operations in Kenya last month, this partnership will enable MSMEs using the Solv Kenya platform to reconcile, receive, and view all their payments on the go under one roof.
In a 2021 report released by the Kenya Bankers Association, Micro, Small Medium-Enterprises (MSMEs) employ over 15 million people in the country contributing significantly to supporting livelihoods and creating growth in the Kenyan economy. However, despite this, they struggle with access to finance which is mainly attributed to financiers’ limited and unclear information about their operations.
According to Sheila Kimani-Omukuba, CEO of Solv Kenya, the collaboration will enable efficient and seamless transactions for the various business enterprises participating in the SOLV marketplace. “Processing and tracking transactions have historically been a problem for many small businesses and financial institutions have to deal with this gap. This partnership gives us the chance to handle financial services more quickly and effectively to support their daily operations, which supports our goal of utilizing digital capabilities to enhance MSMEs’ profitability, enable growth, and operational efficiency.”
More than 5,000 MSMEs and over ten multinational corporations have joined Solv Kenya, and the company plans to sign up 10,000 businesses by the end of the year.
Cellulant comes on board as a technology payments partner connecting these MSMEs to the rails that enable them to make and receive payments.
Speaking to the importance of the partnership, Cellulant’s Group Chief Revenue Officer, David Waithaka said “Over the last couple of years, the uptake of our products has increased significantly as we continue to provide SMEs across Africa with both online and offline payment solutions. By offering multiple frictionless payment methods, businesses can realise increased sales and a growing customer base. Today, we’re excited to partner with Solv to avail these solutions to MSMEs on their platform and work together for their growth”
Kenyan MSMEs as in other African countries remain an untapped market when it comes to digital payments, yet are a major driver of the economy.
“The challenge of access to financing for MSMEs has ripple effects across the economy. We’re going beyond offering payment solutions – pairing payment processing with other solutions to offer increased value to businesses,” added Faith Nkatha, Cellulant’s Country Manager in Kenya. “This is an important partnership for us at Cellulant as it speaks directly to our goals – enabling seamless payments thereby accelerating economic growth across Africa.”
Cellulant joins a growing list of partners in Solv Kenya’s portfolio. In the last three months of its pilot, Solv Kenya has signed working partnerships with several corporates including BAT, Diageo, Procter and Gamble, Lafarge, Nestle and Nokia. The financiers include Faulu Bank, Gulf African Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, Asante MFI, and Zanifu MFI – with more partners from different sectors in the pipeline.
Through its supply chain financing solution, the platform targets to give over 100,000 Kenyan MSMEs access to funding by issuing over Kes 10 billion in working capital credit each year.