Africa

Equity Bank Gets Top Award for Pushing Highest Visa Card Volumes in 2018

PolyCarp Igathe, Managing Director, Equity Bank

PolyCarp Igathe, Managing Director, Equity Bank

For the second year running, Equity Bank has scooped the Visa Top Acquirer Award at the 2018 edition of the Visa Awards. The award was issued to the Bank for pushingthe highest Visa card volumes in 2018.

Over the last year, Equity Bank has made significant investments in its merchant acquiring infrastructure, which resulted in a 34% growth in the volumes being transacted by the Bank’s merchants, from Ksh. 40.3 billion in Q3 2017 to Ksh.54 billion, according to the Q3 2018 financial results.

Equity currently has 14,642 merchants with some of the most notable being Naivas, Tuskys, Oil Libya, Total Service Stations, the Intercontinental Hotel, Quickmart Supermarkets, Simba Corporation Limited, Kenya Airways, KWS, the Nairobi Hospital, Chandarana Supermarkets, Furniture Palace, Tamarind Hotel , Text Book Centre, among others. 

Commenting on the award, Equity Bank’s Managing Director, Polycarp Igathe noted that the award was a result of the Bank’s contribution to a cashless economy. 

“We are elated to receive the award, because it is evidence of our efforts towards the facilitation of cashless transactions, giving customers convenience and frictionless experience across the region by enhancing our card and payments processing services,” he said. 

In addition to Visa, Equity Bank acquires American Express, MasterCard, China Union Pay, JCB Diners Club and  & Discover.

Source: Equity Bank Kenya

OpenWay at Seamless Ethiopia Meet-Up

On July 25th OpenWay co-hosted Seamless Africa Ethiopia meet-up event, which gathered experts from the leading FIs in the region for the discussion about current technology and regulatory challenges in banking. 
Doug Ballantyne, Regional Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, OpenWay, gave a speech on how to choose the right partner to address those and change the game.

Doug Ballantyne, Regional Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, OpenWay welcomes the guests at Seamless East Africa Ethiopia meet-up.

OpenWay at Seamless East Africa Ethiopia meet-up conference.

What to Consider When Choosing a Technology Partner to Power your Payments

Published at: Business Day

Customers are demanding sophisticated financial products and services anytime, anywhere, using any channel.

From Africa to Europe, the Middle East and the US, the change in customer expectations is a significant global trend. Consumers are not only comparing banks with other banks; their expectations are also rapidly being shaped by technology companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Apple and other facilitators that ease their lives and give them the desired experience. And consumers and businesses are now demanding sophisticated financial products and services anytime, anywhere, using any channel.  

To deliver on these new expectations requires the right type of digital capabilities behind the scenes. Technology platforms must be flexible, scalable and work end to end. Naturally, they must also be secure and work across all channels – the ones we know about today and the ones we don’t yet.

Yet banks and processors also have to balance seemingly conflicting demands. They want to cut costs and time to market but are constrained by their legacy IT infrastructure. This is complex and costly to maintain, and it restricts their ability to innovate. Then there is the need to maintain regulatory compliance, interoperability and 24/7 operations.

ACB Wallet.png

Fintech start-ups are also piling on the pressure. These newer, more nimble players are not encumbered by legacy. They can adapt more easily to the demands of customers and regulators. The fintechs may not have scale today, but their technology allows them to compete strongly in the future.

The right type of technology helps businesses think as well as act differently. In this way, technology drives both a technical and a cultural mindset.

Considerations when choosing a partner

If the future of payments is to be open and collaborative, then banks and processors need to have the technology in place to capitalise on opportunities. This often means better rather than more technology.

Payment systems should allow different business models to run on the same platform. OpenWay’s WAY4 platform enables concurrent customer propositions and business models, both new and traditional. It offers a variety of credit, debit, prepaid and multi-currency services for mature customers, and supports financial inclusion use cases for those who are unbanked or new to financial products.

Loyalty, deposit, payment and non-payment services and online interoperability are musts for successful wallets. These five elements unite clients as varied as Equity Bank in Kenya, Asia Commercial Bank and SmartNet in Vietnam, B1NK and AzeriCard in Central Asia, Advanced Info Services in Thailand and many others that either create their own wallet products or use an existing wallet ecosystem on WAY4. Openway clients target both unbanked consumers and demanding tech-savvy users.

payment_processing_partner

Payment partner considerations

Payment method-agnostic
Open and API-rich
Scalable and flexible
Cross-border
Truly digital (across B2B, B2C, B2G, C2G and so forth)
Supports various business models
Grows your ecosystem
Backed by an experienced team

Payments live in an ecosystem. Banks and processors are increasingly having to consider how and where they operate within this wider ecosystem — and naturally with whom. Their technology should facilitate greater co-operation or competition, and sometimes both. Ideally, payments platforms should be payment-method-agnostic, open and supportive of a rich library of APIs for everything from risk management and scoring to tokenisation.

Scalability and flexibility are critical. The chosen technology platform should have the flexibility to scale up to meet business needs and the robustness to cope with sales spikes. One of Openway’s biggest clients handles up to 2,400 transactions per second with no latency. This bank has achieved 140-million active debit and credit card portfolios with a variability of products and more than 40 configurable parameters for each of them.

Invisible security is key. That the platform should conform to the latest versions of EMV, 3-D Secure and PA-DSS is a given. In addition, a good technology partner should offer a range of fraud screening and risk management services. OpenWay provides an anti-fraud engine with about 80 customisable parameters, including payment and non-payment transaction data, customer and device information and historical analysis, which bring seamless security at every customer touch point.

Wallet.png

Personalisation: one size fits no one in payments. Openway worked with Nordic processor Nets to implement standardised products with minimal configuration options on WAY4, enabling quicker speed to market for end clients and with Borgun (Iceland) to offer merchants personalised pricing and value-added services. Plus the product user experience is personalised in real time due to the event-driven configuration.

Omni-channel is the default for banking and payments today. Customers should not see or feel the awkward join as they bank or shop online or in person at a branch or store. Openway helped Halyk Bank, one of the most innovative financial institutions in Central Asia, power the front-end omnichannel experience across e-commerce and face-to-face acceptance.

Commerce becomes more and more borderless. Top European processors have built distributed installations worldwide on WAY4 for issuing, acquiring, gateway and wallet services. For example, Six Payment Services successfully migrated close to 40 banks to WAY4 within two years. When the client’s digital strategy or domestic/regional regulations require on-soil presence, the platform allows the combination of cross-border centralised installations with local ones in the distributed processing environment. Good examples are Nets serving its banks throughout the Nordics, and Credorax working with merchants across Europe, both on the WAY4 platform.

Knowledge, skills and experience count for a lot in the brave new world of payments. OpenWay has more than 20 years’ experience in managing complex projects in multiple countries worldwide. The company has built national payment switches for countries, helped facilitate social payments for governments and interoperable mobile payments for banks and operators, and managed fuel card payments for oil companies. Leveraging this, the National Bank of Greece recently replaced its legacy mainframe systems with the modern, future-proofed WAY4 platform, and received recognition for delivering the best large-scale IT project in 2018.

The WAY4 system is an open, digital-payments software platform, used by 135 banks, processors, telecom and oil companies across the globe. OpenWay has been independently ranked as a market leader in card and merchant management by Gartner since 2009 and Ovum in 2015-16, and as a market leader in digital wallets (Ovum 2016).

THE ANALYTIC REPORTS

For more information, click to download the analytic reports.

OpenWay Club 2018: Interview with Chiedu Okeke - CEO, OROBO

Get the insights on the latest technology and business trends from leading experts in the payment space!

Chiedu Okeke, CEO at OROBO, a money transfer fintech in Nigeria, speaks on what's up in payments in Africa and why OROBO has chosen OpenWay as a partner to empower their money transfer business.

Together with OpenWay, OROBO is aiming to support the financial inclusion in West Africa by building a platform for cross-border remittances and bill payments into Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra-Leone.

This is the first piece from series of interviews with our clients that we shot during OpenWay Club 2018. Stay with us to watch the next one!

OROBO and OpenWay Power Cross-Border Money Transfers to West Africa

OROBO and OpenWay are to change how the cross-border remittances to West Africa look like.

OROBO and OpenWay are to change how the cross-border remittances to West Africa look like.

OROBO, the newly-launched money transfer platform from Saana Holdings, is opening up cross-border remittance and bill-payments into Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone and supporting financial inclusion in West Africa. The WAY4 digital payments platform provided by OpenWay, a top- ranked digital payments software solution provider, will become the technological backbone of this innovative remittance service.

OROBO facilitates money transfers from the United States to Nigeria as well as bill payments for services within Nigeria via a simple app. With OROBO, Nigerians who work abroad can transfer funds to their families back home, more easily and cost-effectively than using traditional card-based bank transfers. Thanks to the direct connection with domestic payment schemes in Africa implemented on the WAY4 software platform, OROBO provides a last-mile service for remittance recipients, enabling them to access funds via Bank, ATMs and mobile agents locally.

The WAY4 system, comprising account and card management, merchant acquiring, financial switching and mobile wallet, will not only support OROBO’s day-to-day operations today. It also underpins its ambitious plans to expand into other African markets and grow from a remittance startup into a full- fledged transaction processing company. OROBO plans to scale its business as well as transaction volumes on WAY4, plus offer innovative services such as mobile wallets and mobile commerce in the future.

OROBO opted for OpenWay because of its expertise and reputation for technical excellence and uninterrupted 24/7 digital processing for multi-country, multi-currency payments. WAY4 solutions implemented on-premises or in the cloud provide online reconciliation, quick connectivity, data-rich reporting and enable new digital services such as tokenization, cash-by-code and online wallets.

"OROBO mission has always been using technology to solve the day-to-day challenges faced by the Africans and the Diasporas living outside the African continent, which they encounter when it comes to remittance and cross-border bill  payments, both at the personal and business levels. Our Partnership with OpenWay is a way forward to achieve the last miles of our vision as a leading African fin-tech innovation services provider in promoting efficiency and improving quality of life. This means Africa is moving forward in terms of payments technology."  – Chiedu Okeke, CEO, OROBO Inc.

“We are pleased that our technology will help people in West Africa receive transfers in a convenient way, and contribute to financial inclusion, economic growth and the development of fintech innovations in the region. I am convinced that the power and flexibility of the WAY4 solution along with its ability to support both traditional and innovative business models is what OROBO requires to move forward with their ambitious strategy.” – Wilfred Waiganjo, Regional Sales Manager – Africa, OpenWay.

 

About OROBO

OROBO, the newly-launched money transfer platform from Saana Holdings, is opening up cross- border remittance and bill-payments into Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Serria-Leone and supporting financial inclusion in West Africa.

OROBO facilitates money transfers from the United States to Nigeria as well as bill payments for services within Nigeria via a simple app. With OROBO, Nigerians who work abroad can transfer funds to their families back home, more easily and cost-effectively than using traditional card-based bank transfers.

https://www.orobo.com

OpenWay Showcases its Universal Payment Platform in West Africa

DigitalPayExpo, Stand #B10, Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, Nigeria

WAY4_Digital_Payment_Platform.jpg

Are you looking for new digital payments business models? Expanding your business to become the preferred digital wallet and e-banking provider? Looking for payment innovations and cases to attract even more customers?

OpenWay, the top-ranked digital payments platform software vendor, gladly invites you to Digital Pay Expo Nigeria 2018 on June 5-7! Our team offers you to schedule personal demo-sessions and meetings with our top business and technical experts to discuss the requirements of your business and show WAY4 solutions in action.

Join OpenWay at the unique event addressing different segments of digital financial services!  We’ll present our universal payment platform proven for mobile wallets and digital banking, card issuing and merchant acquiring, switching and e-commerce gateways by Network International, Equity Bank, EMIS, Saana Holdings Ltd., Areeba and over 130 other tier-1 and start-up banks, payment processing and telco companies, microfinance and fleet companies, national and regional switching all over the world.

The WAY4 digital payments software platform caters to the banking needs of the diverse regions and businesses – ensuring orchestration of various payment instruments and channels, enabling financial inclusion with end-to-end digital payment solutions, and enhancing customer experience with new digital value-added services.

Open new opportunities with the WAY4 software platform and OpenWay team at Digital Pay Expo and shape the future of payments in Africa together

"Are you ready for the big leap?" - Serge Robyns, Business Development, OpenWay presenting at DigitalPayExpo, Nigeria

"Are you ready for the big leap?" - Serge Robyns, Business Development, OpenWay presenting at DigitalPayExpo, Nigeria

The audience listening to the presentation of Serge Robyns, OpenWay at DigitalPayExpo 2018

The audience listening to the presentation of Serge Robyns, OpenWay at DigitalPayExpo 2018

OpenWay Demonstrates WAY4 Digital Wallet, CMS and Switch at Seamless Payments Africa 2018

OpenWay Demonstrates WAY4 digital payment processing platform at Seamless Africa 2018 in Cape Town.

OpenWay Demonstrates WAY4 digital payment processing platform at Seamless Africa 2018 in Cape Town.

Find a digital payment solution that suits your business and explore new business models with OpenWay! Meet our team at Seamless Payments Africa - the biggest payments and e-commerce event in the region. 

Visit our stand #59 if you are interested in: 

  • Profitable digital banking and wallets for financial inclusion of the unbanked - go branchless!
  • Cost-efficient card issuing (credit, debit, prepaid) and innovative ATM services 
  • Omni-channel merchant acquiring (POS, mPOS, mobile and e-commerce, kiosks) 
  • Highly available national and local switches & payment gateways 
  • 360-degree customer service through all channels, including loyalty, chatbots and personalized offers

Also join our “Digital Party” - highlight March 5th, 16:30 in your calendar! 

Let's discuss the challenges and opportunities of the African payment market in a relaxed networking atmosphere. 

Our team looks forward to meeting you at Seamless Africa - let's schedule the best time now!

Dot Finance Summit Rwanda: OpenWay To Present Top-ranked Mobile Wallet Demo and Other Digital Payments Solutions

OpenWay team presents WAY4 digital payment processing platform at Dot Finance Summit, February 21-22, 2018 - Kigali, Rwanda

OpenWay team presents WAY4 digital payment processing platform at Dot Finance Summit, February 21-22, 2018 - Kigali, Rwanda

Expanding your business to become the preferred digital wallet and banking provider? Looking for payment innovations to attract even more customers?

OpenWay, the top ranked digital payments software vendor, gladly invites you to Dot Finance Africa 2018 on February 21-22!

Join OpenWay at Africa's flagship fintech event! We’ll present a new wallet solution and showcase our breakthrough payment innovations adopted by the leading financial institutions in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Visit our stand E06 if you are also interested in:

  • Chat bot banking, mobile commerce, tokenisation

  • Omni-channel digital banking & wallet solutions for fast customer onboarding and 360-degree banking service

  • Highly available & flexible solutions for national and cross-border issuing, acquiring, payment switching & gateway

OpenWay holds #1 global ranking in Card Issuing and Merchant Management and top global ranking in White-Label Digital Wallets (according to Gartner and Ovum reports in 2009-2017).

We serve 135 banks, processors, payment switching, government agencies, telecom, fleet and oil companies in the Middle East, and Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia. We are proud to be the trusted vendor for Equity and Chase Bank in Kenya. 

Let’s meet at Dot Finance and shape the future of payments in Africa together!

OpenWay’s Payment Solutions at Seamless North Africa 2018

February 6-7, 2018 - Stand #B3, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo, Egypt

February 6-7, 2018 - Stand #B3, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo, Egypt

OpenWay is supporting Seamless North Africa 2018, the biggest, boldest and best payments and e-commerce event in the region, as a sponsor.

Whether you are ambitious financial startup or tier-1 institution and looking for a solution to transform your digital payments business in North Africa, visit our stand #B3. We will be glad to discuss your requirements and business strategy and to present WAY4 – the global leading digital payments software platform. 

Visit us if you are interested in the following business models:

  • Cost-efficient card issuing (credit, debit, prepaid), including ATM network management
  • Omni-channel merchant acquiring (POS, mPOS, mobile and e-commerce, kiosks)
  • Highly available national and local switches & payment gateways
  • Profitable digital banking for underbanked and underserved customers
  • WAY4 platform is a highly configurable system able to work across different channels on the front-end and be available 24/7/365 online on the back-end. Thanks to its flexibility, WAY4 can be fully tailored to local market requirements and customer preferences in North Africa.

OpenWay holds #1 global ranking in Card Issuing and Merchant Management and top global ranking in White-Label Digital Wallets (according to Gartner and Ovum reports in 2009-2017).

You can meet our team and explore WAY4 demos at time and place most convenient to you. Let's schedule it now!

OpenWay Digital Banking Leadership Kenya 2017

openway-digita-banking-kenya-2017.jpg

OpenWay, the top ranked WAY4 digital payment software vendor, is launching the series of events in East Africa in order to expand our footprint and to bring the leading innovations in omni-channel digital payments to the region.

We are happy to announce our 1st event of the series - DIGITAL BANKING LEADERSHIP KENYA 2017!

It is an exclusive networking event devoted to the latest digital and omni-channel strategies, challenges in developing services for the unbanked and extending services for existing clients. We will showcase the best breakthrough payment innovations adapted by the leading financial institutions in Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

WHO WILL BENEFIT?

C-level executives, directors of IT, retail banking, and digital innovations divisions of Kenyan banks, processors and payment providers.

WHAT WILL YOU GAIN?

Gather insight and lessons learnt from top-level business and technical experts from OpenWay and other valuable players of the payment industry who will be happy to share insights on the hot topics, including

COST-EFFECTIVE BRANCHLESS BANKING

Case studies of leading banks using the top-rated WAY4 solutions from around the globe 

CHALLENGES OF DIGITAL ERA

  • Interoperability of financial services

  • Digital identity

  • New customer acquisition

  • API banking

  • Instant payments

BUILDING A FLEXIBLE OMNI-CHANNEL PLATFORM

  • Local and cross-border card issuing

  • Agent banking

  • Merchant acquiring

  • Digital wallets (P2P, P2C, B2C, B2B, G2C, C2G)

  • National payment switching

  • e-Commerce payment gateway

LIFESTYLE BANKING

  • Messenger banking

  • Tokenisation

  • Mobile money

FIGHTING FRAUD

  • Security in mobile payments and e-commerce

  • Biometrics

  • Contactless

  • 3-D Secure 2.0

The knowledge-sharing session will be followed by a networking cocktail reception.

Chase Bank Kenya and OpenWay Challenge the Digital Payments Market

Chase Bank Kenya, an innovative and fast-growing bank with an ambitious strategy across Africa, has successfully migrated its full card portfolio to the WAY4 payment software platform from Electra Card System.

The new card management system enables Chase Bank Kenya to grow its cards business by integrating omni-channel capabilities and enhancing fraud management systems.

The solution is developed by OpenWay, the market leader in software solutions for bank card issuing and acquiring, payment processing and omni-channel services and WAY4 will support the issuance of prepaid, debit and credit cards — under the MasterCard and Visa brands. 

The new card management solution will enable Chase Bank Kenya to grow its cards business, gives the bank full control over its new product development process, decreases time-to-market, integrates omni-channel capabilities to enrich the customer experience and enhances fraud management. 

“Chase Bank Kenya chose the WAY4 platform because of its security, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, scalability, and high availability. OpenWay also has a long term experience in migrating data from the Electra Card System platform and is well known for its commitment to clients,Chase Group Director of Information Technology and Operations Raj Singh said. 

In line with the huge presence of mobile money in Kenya, Chase Bank launched several innovative card products which combine payment functionality and mobile wallet features, including supermarket loyalty cards, University ID cards with wallet features, and traveller cards with bonuses features, among other prepaid cards products.

“The partnership with OpenWay is in line with Chase Bank’s strategy of developing innovative opportunities of digital banking and omni-payments, which provide the best possible quality of service and financial solutions for clients across the African region. OpenWay is at the forefront of card management solutions in the world and by utilizing the WAY4 platform, the bank is demonstrating that it is a forward-looking business, always on the lookout for new technologies, which will provide our clients with an enhanced customer experience,” Mr. Singh said. 

Mr. Raj noted that to be a disrupter in the mobile space and support continuously changing payment trends in Kenya, the bank decided to replace its existing Electra Card System with a new in-house processing solution as the legacy platform the bank was running on had become a barrier to launching new financial products due to the costs of customising it. 

“Delivering within the strict project timeframes was really important for Chase Bank Kenya and OpenWay was able to meet these timeframes due to the excellent cooperation between the Chase Bank and OpenWay teams. We believe the platform will help Chase Bank achieve its ambitious goals within a short term,” said Serge Robyns, Head of Pre-Sales EMEA, OpenWay Group. 

According to the Central Bank of Kenya and the Communications Authority of Kenya, 76% of the country’s population is registered for mobile money (27.7m). $24 billion worth of funds was transacted through mobile money in 2014 and $101 billion since the introduction of mobile money in Kenya. The majority of adult Kenyans use mobile money for services ranging from P2P-transfers and bill payments, to donations, savings and loans.

About Chase Bank Kenya

Chase Bank Kenya is one of the fastest growing banks in Kenya. With a network of 57 branches and over 1000 agents, the bank has a very dynamic market positioning including its historical performance, both in terms of collecting deposits for granting loans exceeding the local banking industry performance without altering the quality of the assets that remain fundamentally sound. The bank has a keen focus on financing Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) particularly in the women, youth and agriculture sectors in order to enhance financial inclusion and foster economic development in Kenya.

WAY4 Becomes a Key to M-PESA Mobile Accounts in Kenya

Equity, the leading bank in Kenya, has migrated to OpenWay's WAY4 payment processing system. With WAY4, Equity can work as a payment switch and launch new services for retail customers, including acquiring EMV cards and interacting with M-Pesa mobile accounts. Participation in the M-Pesa project has secured the bank’s position in the promising micropayments market.

“The new system not only gives Equity a strong competitive advantage in cutting edge technology and card management, but allows speedy and efficient transaction process in real time, and in all currencies,” stated James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Bank.

The bank leverages WAY4 to work as a payment switch and optimise the financial interaction of its branches, offices and partner banks in the region. Furthermore, Equity ATMs countrywide allow M-Pesa users to withdraw cash from their mobile accounts.

The M-Pesa system allows mobile payments and transfers without the necessity of opening a bank account. These services are used by ten million people in Kenya, many of whom are unbanked. Thanks to participation in the M-Pesa project, Equity not only expands its business in new directions but also gets the opportunity to offer its retail banking products and services to a large potential customer base. 

Equity’s success confirms the advantages of the WAY4 processing platform as a powerful new generation switch, or, as it’s more often called today, a payment service hub.

«We are happy that WAY4 switch functionality helped Equity to transform possible competition into a strategic and profitable partnership. The experience OpenWay has gained from this project will benefit all our clients who set ambitious goals in the area of micropayments», adds Wim Pardon, Managing Director of OpenWay EMEA. 

Equity Bank

Equity Bank of Kenya (www.equitybank.co.ke) is the largest and fastest growing bank in Kenya, with 4.5 million client accounts that constitute more than 54% of all client accounts in the entire country. The bank also has branches in Uganda and South Sudan. Equity Bank has a reputation as an innovator in banking and financial services.

 

M-PESA

M-PESA is the first Kenyan commercial mobile payment and transfer system, created in March 2007 by Safaricom with the support of Vodafone. The system was created for people who don’t use bank services. This innovative project turned out to be in high demand on the African market. According to information as of March 2010, M-PESA has over 9.5 million subscribers, served by 17,500 agents

 

Equity moves to WAY4-based online card system

Equity Bank has fully migrated to the WAY4 card management system from OpenWay Group of Belgium that allows M-Pesa account holders to withdraw money from the bank’s 550 Automated Teller Machines countrywide.

Equity_migrates_to_WAY4.jpg

The WAY4 system, an online card management system, is designed for multi-institution and multi-currency transaction processing and with a capacity of 180,000 transactions per minute.

The system which received the highest rating from Gartner, which rates software in the world, also provides support for non-card transactions over multiple self-service channels.

The new system is set to increase efficiency in Equity Bank Point of Sales outlets and ATMs in the region, the company said in a statement.

Speaking during the signing of the partnership with OpenWay Group, Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi said the system has the capacity to host the combined network of Equity Bank branches, subsidiaries and other banks at reduced costs. 

“The system not only gives Equity a niche in terms of competitiveness in cutting edge technology and card management, but allows speedy and efficient transaction process in real time, and for all currencies,” Mr Mwangi said. He said Equity was among the first banks in the region that are able to handle regional inter-switching connectivity. 

He added that the new switch system would come in handy with the recently launched partnership between Equity Bank and Safaricom that allows M-Pesa account holders to withdraw money from the bank’s 550 Automated Teller Machines countrywide.

Published in the Daily Nation magazine.

Equity Bank

Equity Bank of Kenya (www.equitybank.co.ke) is the largest and fastest growing bank in Kenya, with 4.5 million client accounts that constitute more than 54% of all client accounts in the entire country. The bank also has branches in Uganda and South Sudan. Equity Bank has a reputation as an innovator in banking and financial services.

 

M-PESA

M-PESA is the first Kenyan commercial mobile payment and transfer system, created in March 2007 by Safaricom with the support of Vodafone. The system was created for people who don’t use bank services. This innovative project turned out to be in high demand on the African market. According to information as of March 2010, M-PESA has over 9.5 million subscribers, served by 17,500 agents.