Equity Bank is set for a show-down for market share after launching its new all-in-one payments solution dubbed One Equity.
One Equity offers businesses a single till number that allows customers to make payments via M-Pesa, Airtel Money, PesaLink, Equitel, and the Eazzybanking app. It eliminates the need for business owners to acquire multiple till numbers from telcos and financial service providers.
It also integrates QR code payments for customers wishing to scan-to-pay via payment channels including Equity’s Eazzybanking App, M-VISA, Masterpass QR and UnionPay.
The mobile payments space for businesses in Kenya is currently dominated by Safaricom’s Lipa na M-Pesa, a solution with over 302,000 active till numbers as of July 2021. Built on the ubiquitous M-Pesa mobile money platform, Lipa na M-Pesa is the current go-to for business owners looking to allow customers to make seamless mobile payments.
To cater to as many customers as possible, however, many businesses also onboard alternative payment solutions from other providers. Cash received via Lipa na M-Pesa also goes into the merchant’s M-Pesa wallet, meaning that they incur transfer fees if they move the funds to their bank accounts.
It is these bottlenecks that Equity is particularly keen on dealing with.
In a statement, the bank stated that One Equity would make make it convenient for both small and large businesses to collect their payments directly in their bank accounts, without having to make multiple transfers from mobile wallets to bank accounts.
They noted that merchants would be able to access the funds instantly in their bank accounts at no charge. Equity further stated that there was no limit to the amount of money a merchant can receive.
“Businesses will now be able to get the most out of their activities by devoting their time to their clients as the Equity solution simplifies their operational needs from a payment standpoint. One Equity Till Number is simple and interoperable making it very inclusive and in tune with the needs of many businesses,” the statement read in part.
Steady payments trickling into their bank accounts will also allow Equity to extend credit to the businesses.
“The centralized collection account will, in turn, improve their credit score thus enabling merchants to access higher credit facilities from the bank to enable them to expand their businesses,” the bank noted.