E-commerce By I & M Bank

I just got off the phone with Mr. Reddy from I & M Bank. A real gentleman. He had called in response from yesterday’s article: I & M Bank got it wrong, to inform me of some erroneous information in that post.

First off, the very fact that I & M Bank responded is impressive. Not many organisations in our country monitor – and respond to – what is said about them online. least of all banks! I & M Bank got that very right, kudos to them.

Mr Reddy made some valid points in defense of I & M. First, we have to understand that PayPal and similar other services are not banks. They operate under different legal environments from banks. Banks like I & M operate in a more controlled environment, and have to live by the rules set forth by the Central Bank of Kenya (in I & M’s case). Naturally, this will make comparing PayPal to I & M a little like comparing apples to oranges.

What does I & M Bank Offer?
Through I & M, you can set up a very tightly integrated e-commerce solution that is tied directly to your bank account at I & M Bank. This means that whenever someone pays you, it goes into your account immediately.

Setting up the e-commerce platform will cost you, however:

  1. Small organisations – charges are $500 and this includes extensive support, even “hand holding” to ensure that you set up everything just right.
  2. Large organisations – charges start from $500 going upwards depending on the features and how much work needs to be done.

According to Mr. Reddy, the bank will not charge transaction (commission) fees. Instead they will charge $50 to $100 monthly depending on your agreement with the bank.

I still think that I & M’s charges are on the higher end of things but I must say that I do believe there are advantages to using their service. If I was heading a small to large company, I would think very seriously about using I & M instead of services like PayPal. Why?

  • No transaction fees. As long as you are making enough to cover the monthly charges, it is beneficial not to have a commission of your sales taken by the payment processor.
  • The money goes directly into your bank account.

When you use services like PayPal, the money that you make is not held in Kenya until the day that you choose to withdraw to Kenya. I believe that if, instead, we could all use a service that is fully local, the country would benefit in general. I & M is one such local solution. Their service may be a tiny bit pricey to set up, but if your company can afford it, go for it – they sound like they know what they are doing.

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  1. John Obungu says:

    Still not clear to me, is the $50-$100 paid monthly or annually? Please clarify. It is not small money compared to our standards. $50 per month is equivalent to $ 600 per year which translate to Kshs 48,000/- pa
    This to me is a tall order for budding entrepreneurs like me. I would also like to know the breakdown of $ 500 charges for smaller organizations.

    Thanks Like Chapaa. John O.

    • Let’s hope I & M respond to your comments. However, I can confirm that the $50 – $100 is a monthly charge. From my talk with Reddy, he said they charged this instead of a commission on your sales. This means that even if you make $1 million, you still only pay $50 – $100.

      It doesn’t work so well if you aren’t making that much though 🙁

  2. The charges by I&M are still exorbitant and inhibitive to the the SME sector. They should borrow a leaf from KCB that has also launched an e-commerce solution to the travel industry. There are no setup charges, only transactional fees and they settle your account the next day.

    • I agree!

      I’d like to know more about the details of the KCB offer, and possibly write about it on this site. It seems like you are in the know about it, could you please give us more info to post for other readers to benefit?

  3. What gateway does I & M bank use and which shopping carts is it compatible with? And what exactly does set-up entail and who does it?

    At $50 monthly fee and $500 for set-up, they are the most exhobitant merchant service I’ve ever heard off.

    That said, the march towards e-commerce should be led by already established businesses for it to gain traction. In the US, only 10% of sales occur online and those starting businesses should not ignore offline sales.

    My recommendation to anyone starting an online business is to talk to people who have done it. There’s a lot about e-commerce that is unsaid but important to know.

  4. Can we please have some comments on the KCB online payment system on e-tourism… has anyone got any info on this?

  5. Hello Kelvin, I would like to know if thee is any website already using I & M bank eCommerce payment method.
    Kindly if you won’t mind, inform me via email for record so that i can get some important information.

    Thank you.


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