Kenya: Equitel Money rises to take a fifth of mobile cash transfers

7 April 2017

Money Transfer

Equity Bank’s mobile banking platform Equitel accounted for over a fifth of mobile money transfers in the latest sector statistics by Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

The platform, officially launched in July 2015, recorded Sh251.5 billion worth of transactions in the three months ended December.

This accounted for 21.8 per cent of the total Sh1.1 trillion mobile money transfers in the same period, with Equitel’s transactions having grown more than five-fold from Sh45.4 billion in the same quarter the previous year.

The performance has seen the platform eclipse Airtel Money, Orange Money, Mobikash and Tangaza and ranks second only to Safaricom’s M-Pesa.

Cash transfers on M-Pesa stood at Sh892.8 billion, accounting for 77.5 per cent of all the transactions in the review period.

This has left M-Pesa and Equitel as the key rivals with nearly all the market combined, with Airtel Money handling Sh6.5 billion of transactions followed by Mobikash (Sh127 million) and Orange Money (Sh80 million).

“The volume of transactions (deposits and withdrawals) on this platform was registered at 456.6 million with Sh1.1 trillion transferred during the period,” reads part of the CA report.

“Mobile commerce recorded a total of 262.6 million transactions with Sh586.4 billion used to pay for goods and services. The person-to-person transfers amounted to Sh515.9 billion during the period.”

M-Pesa had a slightly higher person-to-person transfer value as compared to the value of mobile commerce transactions whereas Equitel’s commercial transfers were more than double those of person-to-person deals.

Equity Bank launched Equitel as a value-added product, with the platform enhancing customer convenience besides enabling the introduction of microloans.

Cash transfer has become a major battleground pitting banks against Safaricom. The lenders recently teamed up to introduce Pesalink, a money transfer service available across multiple channels including mobile devices and ATMs at fees significantly lower than those charged on M-Pesa.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicated that the value of cash transactions through mobile money transfer platforms grew by a fifth last year to cross the Sh3 trillion mark for the first time.

Source: Business Daily Africa