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Kenya: Equity Bank challenges M-Pesa’s monopoly with Smart SIM

October 7, 2014 • East Africa, Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Mobile Phone

According to both parties, the unique nature of Kenya’s financial market provided the ideal environment for the rapid growth of mobile micro-payment provider M-Pesa.

Taisys Technologies has revealed that Kenya’s Equity Bank will be issuing a ultra-thin mobile banking smart SIM, which incorporates technology from Taisys. According to Equity Bank, customers can now transfer funds, make micro-payments and gain access to 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. According to Taisys, the SIM 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.

According to both parties, the unique nature of Kenya’s financial market provided the ideal environment for the rapid growth of mobile micro-payment provider M-Pesa. Equity Bank has been determined to challenge the M-Pesa’s monopoly in this area. According to Equity Bank, by adopting duoSIM technology, it can now provide an alternative mobile banking and mobile money solution to consumers.

Equity Bank has also revealed that by successfully securing a license to be a mobile virtual network operator, it has become the first financial services institution in Kenya that is also licensed to provide telecommunication services.

CEO of Taisys, Jason Ho, stated that: “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 said. 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.

Staff Writer

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