Interswitch and Equity bank have announced a partnership that will give Equity customers faster and more affordable access to banking services at over 650 Interswitch enabled ATMs countrywide.
Interswitch is an integrated payments and transaction processing company which operates shared e-payment platforms for financial and non-financial institutions across Africa.
The partnership will allow Equity bank cards to be used on the network of over 650 Interswitch enabled ATM machines belonging to 17 local banks in the country boosting Equity’s service delivery and availing affordable access to its card services at other bank’s channels.
The partnership will also enable Equity bank Uganda ATM machines to accept customer bank cards of other local participating banks and institutions on the Interswitch network. Equity bank also becomes an acquirer for Verve cards adding to its wide portfolio of cards accepted by all Point-of-sale machine locations and ATMs countrywide. There are approximately 250,000 Verve card holders in Uganda.
Announcing the partnership at a press launch held at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala today, Interswitch Country General Manager, Peter Kawumi, noted that the partnership is ideal and timely. He pointed out that for the past 20 years, Interswitch has provided technology solutions to businesses to allow them to provide their customers with accessible, seamless, and affordable banking services.
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“This partnership demonstrates an interesting shift in the attainment of service quality and competitive advantage. By joining the Interswitch network, Equity Bank will now benefit from the entire ecosystem that includes all the other financial institutions, their consumers in Uganda and across the region. In this way, Equity Bank has achieved two key things. Firstly, the cost of transacting at ATMs and merchant locations has been significantly reduced. For example, withdrawal transactions for Equity Bank customers at Interswitch enabled ATMs, as well as customers of other financial institutions at Equity Bank ATMs has now gone down by over 60% – that is a significant saving” said Peter Kawumi, Interswitch Country General Manager.
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Speaking during the launch, Equity bank Managing Director Anthony Kituuka said, “We are delighted and proud of our rapid growth and expansion in Uganda over the last 15 years, bringing us to 50 branches, 7000 Equi Duuka agents and over 6500 merchants. This new partnership with Interswitch will support the existing network and allow us to serve our customers better and meet their financial needs right at their doorsteps. Even as the Bank continues to grow, we are committed to offering Ugandans a great customer experience with a variety of tailor-made products that speak to their financial needs.”
Adding, “whether you are a farmer, a retail or wholesale trader or on transit, Equity bank services will now be accessible across 650 Interswitch enabled ATMs, allowing you to efficiently deposit funds, make withdrawals or make payments. We are keen on growing with our customers and are looking forward to serving them better with this new partnership and as well as working with other partners and contributing to their transformation.”
The strategic partnership between Equity bank and Interswitch demonstrates the commitment of the two institutions to drive innovation and enhance the accessibility and affordability of banking services for the end consumer.
Equity Bank Uganda began its operations in 2008 and is regulated by the Bank of Uganda. The Bank has its Head Office in Kampala and a network of 50 branches, 8,640 Equi Duuka agents, over 2000 Merchants and 52 ATMs spread across the country and serving close to 2 million customers.
Equity Bank Uganda is a subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Plc, a financial services company listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Uganda Securities Exchange, and Rwanda Stock Exchange. In addition to Equity Bank Uganda, the Group has banking subsidiaries in, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, DRC, South Sudan, and a Commercial Representative Office in Ethiopia; with additional non-banking subsidiaries engaged in the provision of investment banking, custodial, insurance agency, philanthropy, consulting, and infrastructure services.
Equity Group is the largest bank in the region with assets of USD 12 billion. It is also the largest bank in terms of deposits, with a market capitalization of USD 2 billion and a customer base of over 15 million. The group has 337 branches, 56,772 agents, 32,269 merchants, 697 ATMs and has widely adopted digital banking channels.
The Banker’s Top 1,000 World Banks 2021 ranked Equity Bank 761 in its global ranking, position 39 globally on return on assets, position 71 on return on capital, and position 149 on soundness (Capital Assets to Assets ratio). The Banker’s Top 100 African Banks 2020 ranked the Bank 7th among the top 10 banks in Africa, 4th for strength, 9th for growth performance, 8th for return on risk and 6th for profitability and leverage category. In the same year, Moody’s gave the Bank an overall rating of B2 with a negative outlook, identical to the Kenyan government’s sovereign rating, due to the Bank’s strong brand recognition, strong liquidity buffers and resilient funding profile, well-established national franchise, and strong adoption of digital and alternative distribution channels.