Equity Bank named best digital bank in Kenya
Another self-disruption strategy takes Equity Bank to the next level. The bank was named the Best Digital Bank in Kenya by the Banker Awards 2017.
Equity Bank has disrupted itself to respond to the current and future needs of its actual and potential customers. This disruption has led a self-reinvention into a digital bank which, has paid dividends in less than six months. Equity Bank has been named the Best Digital Bank in Kenya 2017 by Bank Africa, while the Think Business Awards named Equity Bank the best in Integrated Digital Marketing. The social bakers ranked Equity Bank the most socially devoted financial services provider in Africa and 5th in the world.
‘‘Customers banking trends have declared the death of the bank branch as a customers’ transaction channel, as they increasingly embrace self-service technology platforms that give them freedom, choice and control.” Dr. James Mwangi revealed this while launching a suite of digital products dubbed Eazzy Banking that promise to give an easy, comprehensive and secure experience while supporting a convenient lifestyle for Kenyans transacting both in the country and abroad.
He added, “Further, customers have demonstrated the extinction of cash preferring to transact with digital money which is safer for transactions and more hygienic than bank notes. In response to these trends that we have been observing from our customers, we have reinvented ourselves into a digital bank to respond to their needs, in line with our promise as their listening caring partner.” Dr. Mwangi said that this trend is in line with the Government’s vision of a cashlite economy as contained in the country’s Vision 2030. The all-inclusive Eazzy suite of banking products takes care of all customer needs. The bank has introduced the Eazzy Banking App; an interoperable payment platform branded EazzyPay; a mobile based loan product, EazzyLoan; a solution to help Chamas, investment clubs and groups manage their joint finances and investments named EazzyChama and EazzyNet, a retail Internet portal where customers can manage their bank accounts. This platform also enables PayPal account holders to withdraw their funds to their Equity Bank accounts within three business days. A cash and liquidity management solution for SMEs known as EazzyBiz and banking capabilities packaged as APIs exposed through Eazzy APIs platform.
“We have a banking solution for everyone, in line with our inclusive agenda which we have carried as part of our commitment throughout our history,” said Dr. Mwangi and added; “The bank’s strategy is to be the region’s leading digital bank delivering a remarkable client experience in key digital touchpoints. “We have all witnessed how rapid adoption of mobile and other digital channels have transformed how people bank. We are thus delighted to unveil this platform that will drive growth in our business via new innovations and increased customer loyalty.” he said. Dr. Mwangi added that the digital journey that the bank started a year ago is already showing impressive results with the number of the bank’s active digital customers rising steadily.
A Communications Authority of Kenya report indicates that Equitel average monthly transaction growth was 4% from January 2016 to April this year while volume growth rate was 6%. The report says Equitel market share by value of mobile transactions grew to 21.9% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 7.4% in a similar period last year. Similarly, the market share by count of mobile transactions increased to 19.7% for the last quarter of 2016 compared to 13% at the end of the first quarter of the year.
The success of this strategy has been underscored by forging strategic partnerships with global leading experts in data security, big data capture and analytics ensuring an operating environment that is highly available, secure, scalable and interoperable. Some of the partners include Oracle who have provided the software and hardware technology (engineered platform and cloud service), Apigee who have provided the API platform to support the self-service developers’ portal for innovations, Airtel who support the Equitel MVNO capability, OpenWay who have provided the card management platform and Infosys who have provided the core banking platform. Experian MicroAnalytics have provided the bank with a robust credit scoring platform that aggregates all our data sources to analyze the customers. Other partners include Paladion for security operations monitoring, CISCO for Network infrastructure, and IBM for core banking infrastructure.
Equity Bank has obtained the prestigious global Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard 3.1 (PCI DSS 3.1) certification effective 28th August 2016, becoming the first Kenyan bank and one of the first banks in East Africa to do so. The certification affirms Equity’s adherence to international security standards related to the protection of customer information. In addition, Equity Bank has recently partnered with a Global Security Operation Centre (GSOC) in line with the Bank’s strategic vision of providing secure Banking services to our customers. The GSOC is the central nerve center that offers real-time internal and external threats detection and cyber defence 24/7. The GSOC is equipped with specialized technology, processes and expertise to monitor, assess and proactively defend the Bank from any potential threats both internally and externally.
“The rapid growth of the financial technology industry in Kenya is a testament to the role advancing technology is playing in the evolution of financial services on the continent. Technology is fuelling innovation and growth in the financial services sector, creating new opportunities and disrupting the way business has traditionally been conducted.” he concluded.