Equity Bank launched its Mobile Virtual Network Operator Equitel in July 2015. An MNVO is a a mobile carrier can come in and lease infrastructure and go straight into business. Equity bank applied and was granted the license by Communication Authority of Kenya, which was launched through Finserve Africa Limited. Equity has emphasized that its tool is a platform through which it seeks to to bring a convergence between mobile money transfer services and banking. The service charges no transaction fees. During the launch of Equitel, the bank announced it had locked in 1 million customers, who were using the 0764 prefix and was moving to its next million customers to use 0765.
The Bank today held a press briefing where it announced Q3 results for the period ending September 30th 2015. The Bank CEO announced that the platform had been able to lock in 1.3 Million users with 88% as active users. This represents 162% growth over the last 10 months. The number of transactions per customer has also grown to an average of 21 transactions per month. Interestingly, 50.4% of all transactions taking place at the Bank take place through Equitel surpassing both branches and ATMs.
Equitel has also introduced a Card-Not-Present feature where customers can withdraw money from an Equity ATM or Agent without a card. This has been one of the reasons for the spike in transaction amounts. The service further allows users to access loans 24 hours a day having issued Kshs. 4 Billion in loans so far. Interestingly, the average amounts borrowed are Kshs. 5,000 with peak hours between 1 am to 5 am. The lowest periods are between 8 am and 4pm, which are banking hours. From the financial front, Equity Bank posted a 32% growth in total assets to 445.8 billion with the company’s pretax profit grew by 14% to Kshs. 18.1 Billion.