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Equity Bank readies itself to challenge the M-Pesa’s monopoly mobile banking

BUSINESS
By Digital Reporter | October 8th 2014
By Digital Reporter | October 8th 2014
BUSINESS

NAIROBI, Kenya: Equity Bank has rolled up its sleeves to wrestle the control of Kenya’s mobile banking business from the giant telecom service provider Safaricom Limited.

Taisys Technologies Co announced that Equity Bank will be issuing ultra-thin mobile banking smart SIM with patented technology from Taisys.

It means Equity Bank customers can now enjoy funds transfer, micro-payments and other mobile financial services that are agnostic across mobile devices, including traditional basic-feature phones using Taisys’s “mBanking” and “duoSIM”.

The technology also allows the bank to extend to customers mobile telecommunication services approved by Communications Authority of Kenya.

Traditionally, banks providing mobile banking services rely on the telecommunications provider to issue smart SIMs. Besides substantial investments from the bank in product development, the banks do not have direct control over the platform, making day-to-day maintenance difficult and creating customer experiences that are less than ideal.

A press release from Taisys’ said with the patented ultra-thin smart SIM – duoSIM – can be directly attached the surface of an existing telco-issued SIM, and placed into the mobile device. Taisys’s duoSIM can then be used to execute mobile banking transactions, releasing the bank from the limitations of a telco-issued banking SIM.

The unique nature of Kenya’s financial market provided the ideal environment for the rapid growth of mobile micropayment provider M-Pesa. Equity Bank is determined to challenge the M-Pesa’s monopoly in this area.

“By adopting duoSIM technology, Equity Bank can now provide an alternative mobile banking and mobile money solution to consumers. By successfully securing a license to be a mobile virtual network operator, Equity Bank becomes the first financial services institution in Kenya that is also licensed to provide telecommunication services.” The statement added.

CEO of Taisys, Jason Ho expressed great optimism in Kenya’s market potential. “With a population of 40 million, and 14 million mobile money users, Kenya is a mature market with users familiar with mobile financial services. Taisys sees this as a great impetus for growth in mobile banking,” he says. He also sees Taisys’s collaboration with Kenya’s largest bank as a strategic partnership to expand the offering of mobile banking services, and providing such services to a wider population in Kenya.

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