Equity bank customers have yet a new e-commerce solution that was formulated after the bank partnered with Airtel through its mobile banking solution. The joint venture will see customers from the bank access commerce solutions through Airtel’s mobile banking service – airtel money. Airtel has struggled to catch-up with Safaricom’s ‘Mpesa’ service which is currently the most used service in the segment and available to almost all financial institutions ranging from banks to businesses. On the other hand, Equity bank prides to have a nationwide presence particularly in the informal sector where the vast majority of Kenyans are. The joint undertaking is therefore expected to solidify both institution’s campaign in improving their services as well as flexibility in how their customers access them.
To enjoy the service, equity bank customers need to have an airtel line that will enable them access airtel money mobile banking solution, perform agency bank transactions at equity bank branches as well as enabling airtel subscribers to withdraw cash from the bank countrywide. Subscribers from the Airtel network will also be able to pay their utility bills, get bank transaction alerts check their account balances as well as receive mini statements. During the launch, Equity’s CEO Dr. James Mwangi indicated they had come together in an effort to strengthen financial inclusion across the East African region.
The joint venture will see more than 10000 airtel money agents across the country join Equity bank branches to offer more convenient services to their customers with guaranteed access to Airtel money deposit and withdrawal of cash. Airtel Money service can be used to pay utility bills such as electricity, water and pay TV subscriptions – the whole process is automated and reflects in real time providing customers with a more secure option of making their cash transactions.