Kenya’s largest bank by customer numbers, Equity, has launched into the telecommunications service space offering existing service providers the biggest threat yet.
The bank unveiled its Mobile Virtual Network Operator service, Equitel, early on Monday offering free money transfer services besides voice and data.
Users will be issued with a 0.1 millimetre thin SIM card that they can embed on existing SIM cards to enjoy mobile money services besides other services.
The launch had faced resistance from Kenya’s dominant telecommunications service provider, Safaricom, over fears that it would compromise user’s information security.
Equitel marks the most significant challenge to Safaricom’s M-pesa that other banks have used to offer mobile money services. Equitel is a partnership between Equity bank and Airtel.