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Home Fintech Equity Bank & NALA ink deal to facilitate diaspora remittances into Kenya from the UK and US

Equity Bank & NALA ink deal to facilitate diaspora remittances into Kenya from the UK and US

by Val Lukhanyu
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Equity Bank Kenya has signed a partnership with NALA Payments Limited, a remittance payment processing platform licensed in the UK and United States, to facilitate diaspora remittances into Kenya.

This partnership will allow Kenyans living in the United Kingdom and the United States to send money directly from their banks, through the NALA app, instantly and at the most competitive rates to Equity Bank Kenya accounts and other mobile wallets.

NALA and Equity Bank are changing the paradigm of financial tools across the region by providing fair and transparent services to empower people with control over their finances.

From now, Equity Bank Kenya will offer integrated financial services to their clients by engaging NALA as its technology partner. The Bank fortifies its position in remittances by giving its customers access to simple, competitive and faster services leveraging the growing popularity of digital channels. It also allows NALA to reliably serve their users in the United States and the United Kingdom who would like to save and invest in the Kenyan economy through a solid financial infrastructure.

NALA CEO Benjamin Fernandes said, “NALA’s mission is to increase economic opportunities globally and partnering with Equity Bank is a foundational step for us. Combining NALA’s technology with Equity Bank’s reach allows us to build a stronger financial infrastructure for Kenyans worldwide. Payments in Africa are 1% built, and technology enables us to make strides toward integrating the financial tools for advancement.”

Robert Kiboti, Equity Head of Private Banking who spoke on behalf of Equity Bank Kenya’s Managing Director Gerald Warui said that this partnership cements the position of the bank as the leading bank supporting Kenyans in the diaspora to send money to their loved ones as well as for investments. He added that the bank is delighted to work together with NALA to bridge the access gap.

He attributed this linkage as one that will help widen the geographical reach in the remittances segment. “Equity will continue to build linkages with like-minded partners such as NALA to ensure that all its members have access to seamless and most competitive remittance services. Using fintech capabilities has given us a global presence, and as a result, we have become a major processor of remittances payments around the world including across currencies,” he said.

Equity grew the volume of diaspora remittances it processed by 39 per cent in 2021 compared to the corresponding period in 2020, leveraging on the growing popularity of digital channels for sending money home from abroad. It handled Sh383.5 billion in remittances in the 12 months to December, up from Sh279.4 billion in 2021.

NALA is also opening a new office in Nairobi, to host a third of the company’s staff. While NALA operates with a globally remote workforce, operational components like partnerships and customer

support will be grounded in the Nairobi Headquarters under the leadership of NALA COO Nicolai Eddy.

Despite the array of options for sending money to Africa from abroad, the continent continues to be the most expensive place to send money. The World Bank estimates average transfer fees to Africa at ~9 per cent.

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