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Equity Bank readies to issue ultra-thin SIM

By James Anyanzwa | October 8th 2014

Kenya: Equity Bank is set to issue a ultra-thin mobile banking smart SIM with patented technology from Taiwan-based Taisys Technologies Co. Ltd.

In a statement on Tuesday, Taisys Chief Executive Jason Ho said the technology would provide a great impetus for growth in mobile banking. Mr Ho said Taisys' strategic partnership with Equity Bank would expand the offering of mobile banking services, and provide such services to a wider population in Kenya.

He 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 who are familiar with mobile financial services," he said.

Ho said Equity Bank customers would 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 the Communications Authority of Kenya," he said.

Traditionally, banks providing mobile banking services rely on the telecommunications provider to issue smart SIMs.

Besides substantial investments by 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.

"With Taisys's patented ultra-thin smart SIM – duoSIM – can be directly attached to the surface of an existing telco-issued SIM, and placed into the mobile device," said Ho.

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 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 licence 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.


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