Kenya’s mobile innovation brings digital money closer
Monday, July 7, 2014
Kenyan financial services heavyweight Equity Bank is planning to roll out mobile banking services in July, using innovative paper-thin SIM technology.
The bank will provide its account holders with slimline SIMs that they can lay on top of their existing mobile phone SIM cards.
This will allow customers to maintain their existing phone numbers and services, but give the bank access to the phone menu and ensure that banking transactions are secure.
The “mobile virtual network” banking service will piggyback on existing infrastructure provided by leading telecommunications firm, Bharti Airtel.
With more than eight million customers, Equity Bank is Africa’s largest bank by customer base.
The company is hoping that mobile banking will help attract new customers and encourage more transactions.
It is likely to shake up a market that has been dominated by Safaricom’s well-known M-Pesa mobile money transfer platform.
M-Pesa now has more than 18 million active users, but Kenyans also use rival services such as Zap and yuCash.