Equity plans to axe out physical branches by 2020

Since late 2009, mobile penetration & digital Literacy in Kenya has been rising steadily with double digits in growth by percentage being recorded year on year. Most citizens and businesses are now opting for mobile & internet banking as the preferred mode of making financial transactions of any size.

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Top lenders and financial institutions have therefore had to innovate heavily in this space in order to remain profitable and true to their transformation agenda (s) of convenience & freedom of self-service for their customers wherever they are at whatever time.

Equity Bank, for instance, observed that 97 percent of all its transactions happened outside the branch, with mobile scooping the lions share at 78%. Equity agents, who are simply bridges for customers to convert cash into digital money and vice versa handled only 12 percent.

Additionally, 93 percent of all successful loan applications processed by the bank were carried out via mobile.

These statistics mirror a growing acceptance of digital money globally let alone Kenya. In fact, as of 2018, 92 percent of all global cash reserves were held digitally.

The result of this imbalance means that traditional banking models for instance physical branches; are becoming obsolete, and Equity’s latest innovations involve an ambitious effort to phase them out by 2020.

“Digitization, use of third-party infrastructure and self-service devices have transformed the Group’s banking model from a place you go to something you do on your devices” explains Dr. James Mwangi, MD, and CEO, Equity Group Holdings.

With this kind of transformation, Mr. Mwangi added that the group intends to give up its physical branches by 2020 in favor of mobile, internet and digital banking services. The branches are to be used for real estate and advisory services only.

To this end, Equity launched ‘Finserve’ its fintech subsidiary and promised to revolutionize digital finance & banking in the region.

“As an enabler of e-commerce, Finserve will aim to help businesses in the region to fully digitize their payment processes,” said Mr. Jack Ngare, MD Finserve.

Finserve Equity Grouo
MD Jack Ngare during Finserve Launch

“We have packaged the strengths and capabilities from our partners to ensure reliability and competence of Finserve” he said.

Finserve will also operate the Jenga Payment Platform, an API platform that will seek to provide modules for businesses to move funds across different mobile wallets and major payment systems globally. Users can sign up by Clicking





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