It will not be too long before Equity Bank officially launches its MVNO platform Equitel, well this is according to the Bank CEO James Mwangi.
The bank was given a nod by Kenya’s regulator to offer mobile phone services including money transfer on the controversial technology that allows overlay of ultra-thin SIMs on top of the ordinary ones.
The CEO said that a “specially assembled” technical team including experts from Norway and Japan was putting final touches on the technology’s capacity and security of the locally untested technology before official launch.
“What our technical team is doing is debunking all the myths and falsehoods that have been spread about the technology,” he said. “We will definitely be rolling out in the next quarter (January to March 2015)”
The use of the technology, otherwise referred to as overlay, will be under a close eye of the Central Bank and the Communications Authority during the initial first year.
The bank is looking to have five million ultra-SIM cards at the time of launch; this number was arrived reflects the number of deposit accounts the institution has.
About 300,000 customers have in the meantime taken up the ordinary Equitel SIM cards being offered in the banking halls, Mwangi said.
Mwangi further said that Equitel will offer complete mobile phone services including voice, data, money transfer services and short messages.
Shareholders at the EGM approved the incorporation of Equity Bank Kenya Ltd to take over banking assets and liabilities in Kenya.
Equity bank will rebrand into Equity Group Holdings Ltd as a non-operating holding company for banking units in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan.
Other subsidiaries include brokerage arm Equity Investment Bank and Finserve, in the proposal subject to approval by Capital Markets Authority.