The uptake of digital banking services by customers is moving Equity Group away from the brick and mortar fixed-cost business model to a variable-cost third party based infrastructure business model.In the just-released 2021 half-year results, digital channels accounted for 97% of the group’s transactions. 606.9 million transactions were completed through the Eazzy banking suite, agency banking and merchants compared to 385.2 million recorded last year, indicating a 66% growth.
In terms of value, transactions worth Kshs. 2.5 trillion were made on the digital channels compared to Kshs. 1.2 trillion in 2020. Commenting on this growth, Dr. James Mwangi, Chief Executive Officer, Equity Group said: “This growth shows the success of the group’s strategy of migrating the customers from the legacy banking infrastructure to the digital banking infrastructure,” adding that it speaks to the appropriateness of the offering to the customer. Dr. Mwangi further said that banking has become a 24-hour activity. Customers are also controlling their accounts, giving them freedom and convenience.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital banking and payment solutions by making consumers to shift their behaviour by embracing technology in their day-to-day lives – including making financial transactions. “Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a tailwind for customers’ adoption of digital offering, fastening the pace of business transformation with significant upside on efficiency as Equity Group increasingly becomes a technology platform,” said Dr. Mwangi.
Transactions on Equity Bank’s EazzyApp grew by 95% (from 200.4 million in 2020 to 390.3 million). In terms of value, there was a 186% growth from Kshs. 97.1 billion to Kshs. 277.6 billion. Agency banking transactions on the other hand grew from 37.6 million to 39.5 million, while merchant transactions grew from 9.7 million to 11 million. The bank’s other digital channels like Equitel, EazzyFX (forex trading), EazzyBiz and EazzyPay also recorded significant growth in the first half of the year.
During the period under review, transactions on the group’s fixed cost brick and mortar branch and automated teller machine (ATM) infrastructure grew to Kshs. 1.4 trillion from Kshs. 1.1 trillion. Equity Group has invested in building and onboarding platforms that allow it to respond to customers’ demands and stay ahead of the market in delivering efficient and convenient experience.