Equity opens 10 branches in expansion blitz

With a focus on high-value transactions and the need to offer personalized services, banking giant Equity has opened 10 new branches in an expansion blitz.

The move, aimed at strengthening branch and ATM-based transactions, has seen Equity increase its presence in one of Nairobi’s prime locations: the Eastleigh Business Bay Square (BBS) Mall.

Eastleigh BBS Mall brings together thousands of customers daily who are seeking to transact in tens of business complexes in Eastleigh, a popular commercial hub in Kenya.

Across Kenya, the lender is further reinforcing its commitment to enhancing access to financial services within communities by establishing a presence in Sondu, Mitunguu, Mikinduri, Timau, Kiritiri, Bumala, Mai Mahiu, Masii, and Moi’s Bridge.

The new locations add to a network of 193 branches and 243 ATMs already in place, according to data from Equity’s website. Lender’s customers, or rather ‘members,’ can now access a diverse range of banking products and services at a location closer to home.

The branch expansion seeks to strengthen Equity’s offerings, including Savings accounts, Loans, various Money transfer services such as Western Union and MoneyGram, Mobile banking, as well as Insurance and Investment products.

Between June 2019 and June 2022, Equity Group saw the value of digital transactions grow by 400 percent to Kes4.4 trillion, up from Kes1.2 trillion. At the same time, Equity’s branch and ATMs-based transactions posted steady expansion, growing to Kes1.7 trillion, up from Kes1.1 trillion.

Read also: ATMs reawaken as digital payment taxes bite

Transactions via ATMs

Industry data shows that an increasing number of bank customers are shifting away from digital transactions, instead turning to withdrawing cash from ATMs partly to avoid the government’s move to tax mobile money transactions.

For Equity Bank, although the number of transactions via ATMs decreased by 9 percent in the third quarter, the value of money withdrawn from ATMs surged to Kes287.9 billion from Kes246 billion in the comparable quarter.

Between June 2019 and June 2022, Equity’s transactions in branches and ATMs declined from 25.3 million to 19.2 million transactions.

Equity has witnessed the take-off of its business-to-business, consumer digital payments, and consumer-to-business payments through corporate internet cash and liquidity management EazzyBiz and retail payment solutions.

This online model is already delivering 99 percent of Equity’s banking transactions and a corresponding 74 percent of the value of transactions, leaving branches to handle high-value transactions.

One of the bank’s online platforms, Pay With Equity merchant solutions, has grown by nearly 400 percent between June 2019 to June 2022, registering 52.2 million transactions from 13.5 million transactions.

During the period under review, consumer-to-business retail commerce digital transactions on Pay with Equity retail merchants expanded by 382 percent from 7.8 million to 37.5 million transactions, whose value grew by 314 percent to Kes174.8 billion.

At the same time, business-to-consumer payments transactions through the Internet Equity cash and liquidity management solution EazzyBiz grew by 51 percent from 2.2 million transactions to 3.3 million transactions, with the value growing by 52 percent to Kshs 966.7 billion.

The value of mobile transactions on Equitel grew by 62 percent to Kes1.37 trillion, while Equity mobile app value of transactions grew 97 percent to Kes552.9 billion, up from Kes280.1 billion.

Year on year personal internet transactions grew by 1,081 percent from 600,000 to 7.5 million transactions, with the value of the transactions growing by 366 percent from Kshs 39.5 billion to Kshs 184 billion.

Across the region, Equity’s expansion and business diversification are bearing fruit. The Group registered a 19 percent growth in total assets to Kes1.33 trillion and 18 percent growth in customer deposits to Kes970.9 billion. What’s more, customer numbers grew 18 percent to 16.9 million in the nine months to September 2023.

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