Equity Bank customers will now be charged for any SMS alerts they receive from the bank. According to the lender’s social media posts, this development was implemented two days ago (April 24). Equity did not inform its customers of this charge, and many discovered it after making transactions.
“We have introduced a standard SMS charge of Kshs. 2.26, effective 24th April. The charge applies to mobile and online transaction confirmation alerts,” posted Equity on Twitter.
Customers are already angry about this new fee, which could add up to a substantial amount, considering mobile/internet banking is commonplace in the country.
Customers receive one-time passwords whenever they set up the Equity Mobile app, which now attracts a fee. Any transaction made on their app is usually accompanied by an alert via SMS. It should further be remembered that the lender does not have a good history of safeguarding some of its customers’ accounts following many complaints that have been shared by tens, perhaps more, of customers on social media platforms.
To this end, it only makes sense why customers would want to receive SMS alerts to their phones because they stand to lose more if that is not the case. It would also mean that these customers cannot know about the status of their accounts if they choose to deactivate those alerts. This brings us to another salient point: there is no way to deactivate the alerts at the moment, implying that Equity is compelling customers to cover these fees, whether they like it or not.
Remember, this is also a bank that charges customers KES 240 annually just for owning a debit card. It is unlikely that these charges will be suspended, and as usual, Kenyans will forget about them in due course. However, it would be great to give customers an option to opt out of these charges (to the detriment of their bank account security) because the charges are just too high, especially for people who transact on the platform daily.