One year Later, Find Out Equitels’ Market Position And Next Move



Equity bank through its minor Finserve Africa limited launched its MNVO called Equitel.

Equitel  which has just marked one year since it launched the month of July last year. MVNO refers to a  mobile carrier that charters set-up from existing telecommunications and launches its operations  riding on the telecoms network where Equity engaged Airtel Kenya’s excess infrastructure to launch  the service.

Equity bank intended to use Equitel as a tool to fuels the growth between mobile money  and banking sectors.  From the time when launched it has recorded a significant growth.

According to a reports by the  Communications Authority of Kenya,Equitel has achieved to amass witnessed the  biggest jump with a 29% growth in subscribers to 1.4 Million from 1,085,000 in the previous quarter.

In the same period, same plays in the telecommunication sectors recorded different margin with the  numbers of subscribers.

Safaricom saw its stand in numbers decline by 2.7% to 24.4 Million from 25 Million in the previous  quarter. Airtel Kenya gained both pre-paid and postpay subscribers to 7.2 Million making gains of  0.3%. The number of prepaid customers stood at 7,088,360 while postpay customers stood at  148,164.

As at the end of the first quarter of 2016 by Equity bank, Equitel customers transacted Kshs 62.5  billion while the value of mobile loans stood at Kshs 14.1 billion over the same period.

Equitel  customers through the “Eazzy Loan” product can borrow up to Sh3 million repayable over a 12-  month period. According to the bank’s internal data, most borrowers were small business seeking  working capital for their operations.

Since the launch of Equitel it has acted as a game change in the market it has;  Cost of using the services,  If we compare Equitel to the other mobile money transfer services, it’s pretty much affordable and  way much cheaper.

When it comes to bank- to- bank transaction compared to other services, Equitel  has a high chance taking a large share in the market.  Free Agent network.  Since safaricom freed its agents to other mobile money providers, this give Equitel an upper hand  since never had to invest in building an Agent network reducing the cost to entry.

Equitel ride on  already existing platform.  Market understanding.  Both safaricom and Equity had grown from a similar approach of providing services up to the  doorstep of the customer, by first understanding their market and taking the services to ‘mashinani’  they were able to outdo their competitors and gain dominance.

In a press statement, it’s reviewed that Equitel is now ready to extend operations beyond Kenya. It  added that the regional financial services provider Equity Group is set to introduce its mobile  platform Equitel to all markets where the group operates, but yet to be disclosed date, Equitel will  go live in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

By James Kanja

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I am a Broadcast Journalist and a Business and Entertainment reporter!