Equity bank has expanded its financial services in digital banking by launching a MasterCard branded as prepaid card at Maseno University, Kisumu campus with the aim of improving its financial inclusions in the region.
The prepaid card was introduced in the university to assist the students in reducing the risk involved in handling cash and for them to embrace the e-payment platform.
Africa Nazarene, Kenya Methodist, Baraton and Garissa University are among other varsities that are enjoying this new innovative customer outreach base from the bank.
“For a long time, students have longed for an opportunity to easily manage their money and track their expenditure. As a Bank, we partnered with universities to provide a prepaid campus card that is secure, reliable and convenient to use on any university’s e-payment platform. Students will minimize the risk of handling hard cash, easily track their expenses and fulfil a greater need for budgeting and financial planning,” said Priscilla Owuor, Equity Bank’s Senior Manager, Payments, during the launch at Maseno University Kisumu City Campus.
The prepaid card which acts as an ATM card that doubles up as the students’ identity card is topped up at any equity bank, agent or mobile platform where the cash is loaded by the student or guardian with specific instructions on usage of the funds.
It also has e-wallets that partition loaded amounts into tuition, upkeep, books and stationery in order to control the students spending.
Among other benefits the card will assist the students to create a financial profile for the HELB loan beneficiaries, reduce the growing cases of misuse of student loans where fee is splurge on drugs and other luxuries. Prof. Mary Kipsat the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs and Academics at Maseno University showed her support for the prepaid card by saying that the card would go a long way in making operations in the university efficient.
Seconding her was the Students Organization of Maseno University, SOMU President Bonface Oduory who praised the campus card as a noble idea which other universities ought to embrace.
Equity’s bank vision being to enhance access to financial services, partnered with MasterCard to provide the card services to its customers and prospective customers in order to provide contactless payment solutions which are easy, accessible and convenient as a means of boosting business and customer base.
Dr. James Mwangi, the Chief Executive Officer, Equity bank early last year during the launch of the prepaid card for bus fares said that promoting the use of cards to carry out financial transactions would shape the future uptake of cashless transactions and encouraging a cash lite economy.
Having being awarded the most innovative bank at The Banker Africa, East Africa Awards 2016, Equity bank continues to leverage on technology in order to offer cash management services, payment security and increased accountability aimed at improving efficiency and reducing operational risks.
On the other hand digital banking having proved to be easy to use, friendly, convenient, consistent and having a 24hr guarantee in a recent survey showed that that 32% of Kenyans have been found to prefer digital banking as the important financial tool.
By Monica Warigia