Equity Bank’s Equitel to Offer Smartphone Loans to Customers


In the recently released Q3 2016 by the Communications Authority of Kenya, Equity Bank’s Equitel gained 0.7% market share to 4.4% with 1.6 Million subscribers. Equity Bank launched Equitel through its subsidiary Finserve Africa limited as an MVNO in 2015. An MVNO is a mobile carrier that comes in, leases infrastructure and goes straight into business, where Equity leased Airtel Kenya’s excess infrastructure to launch the service. Equity emphasized that Equitel is a tool through which it seeks to bring a convergence between mobile money transfer services and banking for its customers.

The bank has today announced a partnership with Alcatel and Samsung in a promotion dubbed “Loans for Smartphones” which will provide credit to customers, to buy Dual SIM smartphones. Customers will repay for the smartphones for a period between one  and 12 months. The phones are available in select branches and in the event that the preferred phone model is not in stock Equity will make the device available within 24 hours to the customer’s branch.

In the announcement of its Q1 2016 results in May, the bank announced that Equitel represented 81% of all loans issued by the bank at 2.8 Million. The bank issued loans totaling 3.4 Million across the board. The value of these transactions rose 562% to 62 Billion from 9.4 Billion in Q1 2015. The average loans issued via the platform stood at 42,000 up from 7,000 with the average repayment period of 4 Months. In total, transactions via mobile devices stood at  79.5 Million for the quarter. Equity Bank CEO stated he sees robust growth in their digital offering as a key driver for growth going forward and as the firm looks to deepen financial inclusion.