Equity inks mobile banking deal with Airtel
26 May 2014, 15:04
Nairobi – Equity Bank and Airtel Kenya customers will from July 2014 start enjoying cashless business transactions after the two companies inked a mobile banking deal in line with the bank’s Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) strategy.
Equity Bank’s CEO, James Mwangi said the electronic money transaction strategy aims at eliminating middlemen in cash activities in order to provide technology effective and efficient services.
“Equity Bank’s MVNO strategy that guarantees customer freedom to transact with other banks and mobile service providers is not intended for competition but targets elimination of 96% cash transfer in business transactions,” said Mwangi.
“Kenyans subscribed to the service will freely settle their bills conveniently anywhere on their phones and those with relatives abroad will be able to transfer money electronically in any form of currency,” he noted.
Mwangi added that the plan not only offers customers access to both debit and credit services but also opens huge opportunity for mobile phone investors to install the bank’s money transfer systems in the gadgets thus promoting technological innovations.
The CEO also stated that besides the cashless electronic services, customers will get access to 1% to 2% per month interest on offered loan without the current restrictions.
He said the bank will utilize 60% capacity offered by Airtel in facilitating the plan not only to serve its 9 million customers but also reach the companies' huge population in 17 African countries and 20 nations globally.
“New skills combined with new systems and cutting edge innovation will yield immense benefits that we will pass to our members. In this venture of enhancing our mobile banking offering, we are as always driven by our focus of making financial services convenient, accessible, affordable and inclusive,” stated Mwangi.
Mwangi further said the bank has already established 160 customers contact branches each holding a capacity of 300 customer care agents for faster and adequate response to complaints on service delivery.
Moreover, he assured the bank’s customers of automatic subscription and pledged to further provide them with the integrated SIM cards free of charge so they can enjoy the service after the July launch. He also urged prospective customers to open accounts with the bank for consideration.
“We feel that innovations and technology have given us perfect opportunity to continue our tradition of rewarding our customers with control and freedom of choice. All our customers will receive their SIM cards ready for use as soon as we roll out the programme,” assured Mwangi.
Airtel Kenya CEO, Adil Youssefi lauded the partnership and noted that the MVNO initiative will run the available excess capacity on its network to maintain seamless quality experience to customers in addition to encouraging more investment.
“The launch of MVNOs is in line with Airtel Kenya’s innovation and differentiation agenda. We believe that the entry of MVNOs into the market will stimulate and sustain overall market growth through a new range of innovative products and service propositions that will give more choice and value to Kenyans," said Youssefi,
“Additionally, their entry into the market will increase the uptake of mobile services in key segments such as mobile commerce and data thereby accelerating the inclusion of all Kenyans into the mobile revolution for sustained economic development of the country.”
The MVNOs slogan for faster access to customer’s bank money dubbed “Benki Yangu Mkononi” is intended to make banking a lifestyle defined by freedom, choice and control over transactions via mobile.
The MVNOs strategy also allows prospective customers to open accounts using their phones through Equity Bank Hapo Hapo service by dialing *247# then entering ones ID number for instant provision of users Pin.
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