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 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 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