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Equity secures partners to drive cash-lite economy

22 July 2014, 23:46

Nairobi - Equity Bank has confirmed its partnership with some of the world’s leading merchant business and payment processing firms in an ongoing process geared at setting the pace for the full scale rollout of the strategies aimed at facilitating a cashlite economy in East Africa.

Equity Bank Managing Director, Dr James Mwangi, disclosed that the Bank was now a partner for American Express, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Google, China Union Pay, SWIFT, JCB, VFX (Equity Direct) and Diners Club.

He said the bank, which reported a 58 percent growth on its payment processing and merchant business last year has managed to seal what is arguably sub-Sahara Africa’s widest network of best in class payment channel services and card business operators.

To support the strategic partnerships, Equity Bank is now actively recruiting local merchants in a process technically known as merchant acquisition to facilitate the regional acceptance of American Express Cards among other payment solutions beyond the bank’s channels.

The merchant acquisition process by Equity Bank, Mwangi confirmed, is also geared at providing alternative revenue streams for its business partners, who will enjoy commissions for card transactions.

Some of the recent merchants retained recently by Equity Bank to support American Express card business include retailers Nakumatt Holdings, hospitality concerns ArtCaffé, Heritage Hotels, Best Western Hotel, Imperial Hotel, Laico Regency, Leopard Beach Resort and Boma Hotels.

Equity Bank recently sealed an operating deal with American Express, the world’s largest credit card company by purchase volume.

The partnership with American Express will also afford the Bank a rare opportunity to serve American Express Card Members visiting the East Africa region from any part of the world.

Currently, American Express holds a portfolio of more than 107.2million cards in force worldwide with US$ 33 billion annual revenues.

“At Equity Bank, our commitment is to best serve and meet the financial needs of our nearly 9 million customers. Our association with the world’s largest credit card companies and payment solution providers is therefore part of this commitment to deliver the best card solutions,” Mwangi affirmed.

"Such partnerships are also in line with our Equity 3.0 business strategy of becoming a one stop shop for financial services and giving our customers the freedom of modern banking in today’s fast-paced world. Our investment in a robust IT platform continues to pay dividends and gives us the opportunity to continue investing in products and services that suit our customers who are increasingly becoming technology-driven and seeking borderless and seamless financial services,” Mwangi added.

A cashlite economy aims to minimize the handling of cash for transactions.

 – CAJ


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