Equity Bank has today announced its Q3 2016 financial results, which saw its Pretax profit rise 18% to Kshs. 21.5 Billion, while profit after tax rose 15.1% to 15.1 Billion from 12.5 Billion. Of interest to us was the performance of Equitel, the bank’s digital banking channel. A few days ago, this blog highlighted the bold moves the bank has embarked on with the view of becoming a digital bank. Equity Bank recently announced a whole range of products under the Eazzy suite signalling this commitment. The products under the Eazzy Suite include a banking app known as Eazzy App; an interoperable payment platform, EazzyPay; a mobile based loan product, EazzyLoan; a solution to help Chamas, investment clubs and groups manage their joint finances and investments, EazzyChama among others.
In the announcement of their earnings, Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi said Equitel was now processing 10 times more loans than its expansive branch network. “Digitization is killing branches as a transactional channel and the beauty of it is that this revolution is entirely customer driven”, he said. In Q3, Equitel disbursed 4.5 million loans while Branches issued 846,000 loans. In terms of lending, 30 Billion in loans were issued as compared to 1.6 Billion issued in loans in September 2016. “We as Equity are beginning to move towards paperless banking and the journey has been quite a success so far”,he added. In the last quarter, Equitel moved 139 Billion making it the second biggest money transfer service in Kenya with 15% market share behind Safaricom’s M-Pesa.
The CEO also highlighted the steps Equity Bank has been making in the deployment of the Eazzy Suite range of solutions. So far, EazzyPay, which is payment platform seems to gain more traction. In the last month since launch, EazzyPay has performed 23 million transactions denoting the fast acceptance of the service by merchants and end users. There are currently 15,000 merchants on EazzyPay with 9,000 of these merchants having registered in the last few weeks. EazzyPay accepts payments for bills as well as goods and services from all mobile networks as well as all debit cards. “Banking on the phone complements a lifestyle and as a bank, we are looking to offer this convenience to the customer through a whole range of solutions that make their lives better”, he said. Dr Mwangi also spoke of the move by Equity to open up its intellectual property to developers through the EazzyAPI, which will, in turn, allow them to create solutions aimed at fostering financial inclusion.