In the Q3 2016 report by the Communications Authority of Kenya, Equity Bank’s Equitel gained 0.7% market share to 4.4% with 1.6 Million subscribers. Equity Bank launched Equitel through its subsidiary Finserve Africa limited as an MVNO in 2015. An MVNO is a mobile carrier that comes in, leases infrastructure and goes straight into business, where Equity leased Airtel Kenya’s excess infrastructure to launch the service. Equity emphasized that Equitel is a tool through which it seeks to bring a convergence between mobile money transfer services and banking for its customers.
The bank has been keen to grow the platform including focusing on the platform to grow its SME loan book. In announcing their Q1 2016 results, the bank stated that 2.8 Million of their loans or 81% of total loans were via Equitel which underscores this growth.
Now Equitel is annnoucing the addition of a new feature called Multi-approval targeting investment groups, chamas and joint account holders. This new feature allows account holders to withdraw cash from their Equity Bank accounts. The new feature eliminates the need for account holders to be physically present to withdraw cash or co-sign cheques saving on time.
To use the feature, a user first originates a request to withdraw cash on their Equitel menu. The request is then sent to other account signatories who in turn enter their PIN to approve the withdrawal request. The Pin serves as the account signature for the users not present. Equitel users will have to link their lines to the joint account to be able to use the feature.