It’s true that technology and Equity Bank have brought disruptions in the banking sector in Kenya, and to continue with the momentum, Equity Bank launched yet another tech product – a mobile App for their banking services meant to enable their Eazzy Banking get even easier – the Eazzy App.
Not long ago it was a given that to have a bank account you had to travel to a bank branch, a journey that could take up to several hours. It didn’t stop there. If after opening the account you needed to make a deposit, or a withdrawal, or even do a simple task like check the balance in that bank account, you still had to travel.
Imagine spending Kshs 200 on bus fare hoping to make a withdrawal in your nearest bank branch which is more than 50Kms away, and after arriving at the bank you get a shock of a lifetime that the much awaited deposit hadn’t come through! Curse! Or, if it was your lucky day, the much needed money could still be hours away thanks to the long winding queue that you wished you could have skipped – at times forcing you to behave like the guy below.
But times have changed. Today if you visit a typical bank branch you’d likely meet several old folks who for several reasons are unable to catch up with technology. People who don’t know how to use phones let alone smartphones. Or young people who simply do not want to live in 21st century. When I visit a bank branch and see people aged below 50 in the queue to make withdrawals of as less as Shs 10K I always wonder what cursed them. Is it that they haven’t heard of ATMs? Maybe they lost their ATM cards. What about mobile banking? Don’t they know that they could access almost all of the banking services simply by dialing *247#?
Although I receive and send money through my Equity Bank account, in the past five months I haven’t been to a bank branch, and even when I was in the branch was there solely to replace my lost Equitel line. With the Equitel line, I am able to deposit money to my account straight from MPESA or through an Equity Agent near me, withdraw to MPESA or from an Equity Agent near me, send money to those who need more than I do, pay bills, and most importantly buy Airtime for any phone number.
For those without Equitel numbers (if you are Equity Bank customer and you don’t have Equitel I advise you to get yours ASAP), you can still perform all those banking services, including requesting for a loan, via any other network.
As much as using Equitel or Eazzy 247 mobile banking on Equity Bank is convenient, the use of SMS and USSD based platforms make the system be, well, not so smart. For the millions of use with smartphones, we have always preferred smarter platforms – platforms that can for example pre-empt what you want to do with it even before you actually open the App.Who for example wouldn’t like the idea of not having to type the entire phone or bank account number every time they need to make a transaction?
To enable what Equity Bank call “sophisticated customers” experience a sophisticated lifestyle – thereby simplifying their lives even further, Equity Bank introduced the Eazzy App from which customers can perform all the mobile banking services available through Equitel platform.
With platforms such as Eazzy App and continued adoption of smartphones across the country, it is not many years from now until we witness the death of physical bank branches. “Customers’ banking trends have declared the death of the bank branch as transaction channel, as they increasingly embrace self-service technology platforms that give them freedom, choice and control.” Dr. James Mwangi revealed this while launching a suite of digital products dubbed Eazzy Banking. Given the ballooning cost of running a physical bank branch, the wide adoption of mobile banking through platforms such as Eazzy App promises to make the cost of banking services even more affordable.
The next victim of mobile banking who will someday be laid to rest in a not so beautiful coffin is cash. As Dr. Mwangi further noted, “customers have demonstrated the extinction of cash preferring to transact with digital money which is safer for transactions and more hygienic than bank notes. In response to these trends that we have been observing from our customers, we have reinvented ourselves into a digital bank to respond to their needs, in line with our promise as their listening caring partner.”
The Eazzy App is part of the Equity Eazzy Banking Suite that also includes EazzyPay which is an interoperable payment platform, EazzyLoan – a mobile based loan product, EazzyChame – a solution to help Chamas, investment clubs and groups manage their joint finances and investments, EazzyNet – a retail internet portal where customers can manage their bank accounts, and a cash and liquidity management solution for SMEs known as Eazzy Biz. The Equity Bank Eazzy Banking suit also enables PayPal account holders to withdraw their funds to their Equity Bank accounts within three business days.
With the Eazzy App in hand, which you can download from Google Play store, you surely do not have any reason to visit any Equity Bank branch for most of the day to day banking transactions.