This afternoon, Equity Bank, which has since garnered 13.5 million customers, held its Investor Briefing that also served as a stage for the financial institution’s full year 2018 performance announcement. The Bank’s CEO Dr. James Mwangi officiated the event that lauded fintech innovations and their related products in powering the lender’s rapid growth.
According to the CEO, Equity recorded a 5 percent profit after tax to KES 19.8 billion, a KES 0.9 billion jump from profits posted in the preceding year. The numbers were driven by digital banking systems and products that the bank has been pushing alongside its technology arm, Finserve Africa.
Digitization activities have also seen notable growth in merchant banking and diaspora remittances. The bank’s lion’s share of transactions leveraged digital platforms, including a notable growth in the use of POS devices for merchants (which, according to the CEO, are preferred in place of the competition), mobile wallets, cards and digital payment.
Whereas 72 percent of transactions outside the branch were based on Eazzy Banking App and Equitel in 2017, the bank pushed that number to 77 percent in 2018. Agency banking dropped from 15 percent in 2017 to 12 percent in 2018, and so did ATM and branch transactions. However, branches are still being used for high-value transactions from SMEs, corporates, wealth management and advisory services. Specifically, branches commanded 52 percent of transactions of the mentioned groups.
“Focused and sustained investment in fintech innovation and digitization has resulted in operational efficiencies, cost optimizations, customer convenience and ease of access and use of the bank’s offering, as well as positioned Group’s speed to market with emerging opportunities,” reads a statement from the lender.
While key strides have been made in the digital department, the lender is yet to achieve 100% digitization, nor has it reported developments in digitizing corporate banking as it projected last year.