Equity Group to replicate its digital banking strategy regionally

Equity Bank Kenya led in the implementation of Equity Group’s digitization strategy that saw the bank move over 97% of its transactions from the banking halls to self service digital banking tools and as well pioneered in rolling out agency banking in the region, setting the pace for the other subsidiaries.

Equity Group has now separated its Kenyan entity as it pursues digitization and further growth of its operations in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and DRC. The firm has also appointed a new Managing Director of Equity Bank Kenya to make the completion of the Group’s strategy of separating the management of its subsidiaries from that of the Holding Company.

Polycarp Igathe who joined Equity Group Holdings five months ago has been named Equity Kenya MD while Dr James Mwangi will now serve as the Group Chief Executive and Managing Director providing overall strategic direction and oversight to the Group.

According to Dr Mwangi, “The Board has completed the process of separating the operations and management of the Kenya subsidiary from that of the Group and appointed Polycarp the Managing Director of Equity Bank Kenya. Polycarp’s strong values and passion have enabled him to quickly fit well in the Equity Group organizational culture. He has distinguished himself as a results oriented and committed business leader who is renowned for fostering productive partnerships with external stakeholders and customers, resulting in delivery of outstanding company results.”

Equity Bank is currently the largest bank in Eastern and Central Africa region with over 12.6Million customers, the largest in market capitalization and the second largest in balance sheet. It is listed at the Nairobi securities exchange and cross listed in Uganda Stock Exchange and Rwanda Stock Exchange. It has banking subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and DRC.

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Equity Bank Kenya holds the lion share of the Group’s business and contributes over 80% of the profitability. Recently, Equity Group spinned off its fintech subsidiary, Finserve to operate as an autonomous commercial enterprise, delivering solutions for Equity Group and to external customers and tech developers. Finserve also operates Equitel, the Group’s Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).

It was due to Finserve that made it possible for Equity Group to push 97% of all Equity transactions branchless allowing customers to manage their bank accounts from their mobile phones – sending money to any bank and any mobile network, paying for goods and services using EazzyPay, applying and receiving instant Eazzy Loan on their phones as well as making calls and buying data bundles.

Finserve innovated the digital banking capability of Equity Bank under the brand name Eazzy Banking which enables customers to perform over 60 functionalities. EazzyNet enables customers to do all their banking on the Internet while EazzyBiz is a cash and liquidity management tool for corporates. Eazzy Chama enables saving groups to manage their group funds online while Eazzy Save is an instant account opening capability.

Finserve enabled the Bank to integrate with all major global card associations including American Express, Mastercard, Visa, JCB, Dinners and Union Pay, becoming the single largest aggregator of card payments in the region.  Finserve has also integrated will global fintechs like Ali Pay and Wechat as well as remittance partners across the world such as Wave, PayPal, Equity Direct, Western Union and Money Gram. This new development will help the banks regional operations to go branchless too!

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