Saturday, July 2, 2022

Equity Bank’s Equitel signs up 200,000 subscribers

At least 200,000 customers have taken up Equity Bank mobile phone services as the financier prepares to start piloting the thin SIM technology.

The lender said on Thursday that the delay in mass roll-out of the card had been occasioned by fear of handling huge numbers of potential customers at a go.

“As you know, we are issuing the cards from our branches and we run the risk of disrupting normal business if we don’t manage the huge interest in the SIM card,” Equity Bank chief executive James Mwangi said at an investor briefing on Thursday.

Speaking at the briefing where Equity Bank announced a 25 per cent profit jump, Equity’s CEO James Mwangi said that the bank’s

net interest margin has been dropping steadily in the past four quarters, from a high of 12.2 per cent in the three months ended December to 10.9 per cent in the three months to September.

Its operating expenses, including staff costs, also rose six per cent to Sh18.8 billion.

Equity Bank, which says it now has 9.2 million customers, saw earnings from fees, commissions and dividends rise 23 per cent to Sh12.9 billion.

About half of the amount or Sh6.5 billion came from the bank’s charges on services such as withdrawals, indicating the large earnings in the retail banking segment where Equity Bank is the largest player.

“Equity Bank’s revenues from other fees and commissions … appear to be growing faster than the fees and commissions income on loans and advances which has been a traditional income driver for commercial banks,” the lender’s CEO James Mwangi said.

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