Remember a time when banking was just for the elite? Remember a time when the minimum balance to open a bank account was Ksh 10,000 while the country’s GDP per capita was less than US$100? Remember the time when banks had a minimum operating account? Remember the time when we would queue for hours on end to make payments for electricity, then move to pay water in a different building and finally move to a different location to pay for cable TV?
Well, these times are just but a memory.
Over the years, we have seen Equity Bank distrupt the banking industry by being the first bank to offer financial services to the unbankable making the unbanked banked from 4% to the current 72%. They have been on a journey to change how banking is done in Kenya.
Let us look at the journey in three stages
When Equity came into the market, its main aim was to democratize banking. Its mission was to give dignity and honour to Kenyans who would not otherwise be found in a banking hall. They did this by first and foremost, removing barriers that would otherwise keep people out of banks by doing the following
No Account Opening Balance
No Minimum operating balance
Just needed an ID to open an account
Access to liquidity – abolished notices to withdraw & restriction on withdrawal amount
Promotion of a savings culture by not charging ledger fees or account maintenance fee/zero cost
2004 – 2014 was a period for Equity Bank to ensure everyone from all corners of Kenya had access to a bank account. This involved scaling their distribution network while building a socioeconomic brand.
They seamlessly integrate channels to improve experience and re-designed operating model for efficiency by introducing the following
Agents who saved customers time, distance and money
Village mobile banks during market days in rural areas during market days. These mobile banks can originate loans, facilitate deposits and withdrawals.
E-banking that enabled customers to link their accounts online and do deposits and withdrawals
supreme branches which SMEs have really taken advantage of
By the end of this phase, Equity Bank had over 9 million customers with 30,000 shareholders.
This the stage of the future, as people are saying. Most banks have not reached at this level yet and as Equity Bank is doing what we all thought impossible some time back.
The customers are speaking, and they are speaking loudly. We have been listening. Truly, we are a listening, caring partner – Dr. James Mwangi
They are giving customers freedom, choice and control with the most easiest, secure and convenient banking experience ever.So far, there are 2.5 million customers on Equitel who have done 13 7million transactions which is more than branches, ATMs and Agents combined. This indicates that the customers want self service banking on their mobile phones and payment is the most preferred service from a bank
Equity 3.0 is disrupting the industry by doing the following:
Leveraging on technology and innovation
Convergence of financial products and services
Segment inclusion for focused strategic delivery
Scale brand visibility and loyalty
They have just introduced EazzyApp, where your bank will be your mobile phone. You can access your bank anywhere, anytime. From sending money to paying goods and services, accessing loans on your mobile, paying bills, checking the status of your account or saving your money, it is all in your hands.
You can download the EazzyApp from Google Play Store and have control in your hands.