Mobile financial services have transformed lives of many in Kenya since the M-Pesa revolution. Initially, one had to physically go to a bank to be able to transact.
It was tedious to carry cash, to send money over long distances and this would take days before a beneficiary could use it.
Today one can transfer payments via mobile, the distance has been eased, one’s money is safe.
Kenya is now ranked number one in inclusive financial services by the Brookings Institution’s 2016 Financial and Digital Inclusion Project with an overall score of 84 percent attributed to the country’s vibrant mobile money ecosystem, which features exceptionally high adoption rates.
On the other hand, with the implementation of The Banking (Amendment) Law (2016) which came into effect with the President’s assent on August 24th 2016 regulating interest rates applicable to banks’ loans and deposits, the maximum lending rate – chargeable for a credit facility – is capped at no more than 4 percent, the base rate set and published by Central Bank of Kenya, has pushed the country’s financial institutions to explore new ways of winning over the customer.
According to Genghis Capital, Tier I banks are best positioned to retain their customer base, as they control 88.71 percent and 76.13 percent (Dec 2015) of deposit accounts and loan accounts respectively.
“With the strategy of customer-centric, we forecast a rapid expansion of the alternative distribution channels (ATM network, agency banking, mobile banking and internet banking) to reach out to a wider customer base; with brakes applied on increasing the number of the costly brick-and-mortar branches.”
In Kenya, mobile payments are revolutionizing the way businesses operate. Marcus Treacher, Head of Innovation, Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC says, “We are on the brink of a new era of business-to-business mobile payments, which will bring more than mere convenience.”
For financial services, she says, “Mobile payments can improve the financial health of a business. Mobile payments mean there is instant reconciliation. Being paid faster improves a company’s liquidity and cash-flow performance by extending their ability to pay their own creditors faster. Improving cash-flow performance enables opportunities to increase credit ratings, improve credit terms and elevate a company’s reputation, all of which enable growth.”
For instance, in Kenya, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) has its niche the M-Shwari platform. The Kenya Commercial Bank (CBK) adopted the KCB M-Pesa. Co-operative Bank has the M-Coop Cash.
Equity Bank Group has its unique mobile banking platform that is tied to the customer’s bank account. To boost on its customer base unveiled EazzyBanking, a range of digital products, which are channel agnostic, driven by a versatile technology and capability platform.
“Customers’ banking trends have declared the death of the bank branch as transaction channel, as they increasingly embrace self-service technology platforms that give them freedom, choice and control,” Dr. James Mwangi revealed while launching the platform in October.
This venture according to the group, they are disrupting the business model, re-imagining the distribution channels, digitization, re-positioning the balance sheet and massive social impact investment in the Equity brand has strategically and uniquely differentiated it.
Dr. Mwangi says, “We have a banking solution for everyone.”
With the EazzyApp:
One can pay for bills, goods and services straight from the phone using an Equitel Line, Equity Bank App (Eazzy App) or Mobile money (Mpesa Airtel Money and Orange Money)
This is one’s banking on the go anywhere, anytime from sending money to paying for goods and services, accessing Eazzy loans, paying bills, checking the status of the account or saving for the future
One can get a loan of up to Kshs. 3million instantly on the phone without filling in any forms and no need for guarantors. One can monitor the loan balance and make repayments through the Equitel line or use the EazzyApp.
Eazzy bank account
Simply dial *247# from the current local mobile network and to be able to pay bills, buy goods and services for free, send money for free, apply and get a loan, check your account balance, withdraw money from an agent or ATM.
This is an online solution that allows Joint, Investment, Group or Chama account holders to manage their group activities like record keeping and banking transactions, while maintaining transparency and accessibility among all group members. This solution allows group members to monitor group transactions, track personal transactions therefore saving time and work efficiently.
EazzyNet, offers the bank’s retail customers better online experience.
This is a robust, secure and comprehensive Cash and Liquidity management solution that incorporates Payments, Collections & Receivables, Liquidity Management and Host to Host (H2H) modules to cater for Cash Management requirements of Corporate and SME clients. EazzyBiz offers a great user experience, unified view of accounts and has information rendering capability through analytics and management dashboards.
With Eazzy API, application developers, businesses, institutions and payment providers can leverage the full capabilities of a digital bank.
This diversification is in line with the Group’s future outlook for cost optimization and better deployment of resources.