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Nation Media Group, DTB unveil money transfer service

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya’s largest media firm, Nation Media Group has plunged into the money transfer business.

The media House, touted to be the largest in East Africa, has partnered with sister company, Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) (both owned by the Agakhan) to unveil a money transfer service dubbed NationHela.

The card has been operating on a pilot basis among the Nation Media Group staff and this is the official launch to open the service to the general public.

Retailing at Sh500, the card allows customers to send and receive money from anywhere in the globe with the funds being credited straight into their NationHela prepaid Visa cards.

Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) will provide the technology for the service as well as a customer care centre for card/account holders.

According to a communiqué from the company, the NationHela card is available at DTB’s 40 branches.

Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi said the service will serve more than 2.6 million Kenyans who regularly receive money from relatives and friends living abroad.

Gitahi said the prepaid Visa card is unlike any other debit or credit card as it is not linked to a bank account and is compatible with several other money transfer services.

“A user can top up the card through DTB branches and NationHela agents  or directly from M-pesa and Airtel Money accounts…upon purchasing the card, users can activate it using their mobile phones by dialing the USSD code *348# and following the prompts,” reads the statement in part.

The card is also retailed at Nakumatt and Uchumi supermarkets across Kenya.

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