To some of us, whenever we hear someone say, ‘I need to go to the bank’, you immediately picture somebody wasting a couple of hours at the bank. All you see in your head are the long queues you’d face, the long hours of standing in a sluggish line as your back hurts, stomach grumbles and hope fades away. To most of us, paying school fees or handling transactions would mean having to skip your precious lunch hour or getting in town earlier than usual just to get it done. Why? Because of the necessity of physically being present to handle these transactions. But all this is changing.
The future of banking is going digital as is the rest of the world. This means that as time goes by, banks are finding more convenient ways of having their customers handle their money and this is all made possible through banking through your mobile phone. This way, customers have the freedom to transact at their own choice; the customers have the power to choose when and where they can transact from, be it in or out of the country.
This week Equity Bank launched a suite of digital products dubbed ‘Eazzy Banking’ that promises to give their customers an easy, comprehensive and secure banking experience; making banking not only easier and safer but also in accordance to the customers’ needs like saving up on time that would have been otherwise used at the bank.
Speaking at the launch, CEO Dr. James Mwangi revealed that this new banking experience would ease the stress that people face when they transact, making banking much easier and even enjoyable, and would also be in line with the Government’s vision of a cash lite economy as contained in the country’s Vision 2030. He said that in the years of Equity Bank’s existence, this new range of digital products embraces a customer-led revolution that responds to customers’ rapidly evolving and sophisticated lifestyle.
He said that they, as Equity Bank, want to surrender the power of banking control to their customers who now have a high affinity for self-service banking. From the number of loans given by the bank, more than 80% of them are now being accessed through mobile phones. This evolution has come from the days when money was being kept in a hole in people’s mattresses to today when loans can be easily accessed at the touch of a button.
He also pointed out that the era of physical contact with customers is over and an age where customers have control over their banking is long overdue. He said that customers had declared death to visiting branches and they hadn’t realized this. However using the new force of digitization, mobile phones are now becoming the go-to channel of banking.
I’m sure you can concur with the fact that people don’t like going to the bank, but a recent survey conducted by Equity reveals that over 88% of customers really hate needing to the bank (I mean, can we blame them?) Yesterday alone, Equity had over 100,000 loan applications digitally while branches did only 1,000. Customers have shown a higher preference for convenience in payment platforms and access to loans; this only confirms the death of bank branches as a transaction channels and the rise of innovative digital banking systems like EazzySuite.
— Rayhab Gachango (@potentash) October 11, 2016
The Eazzy Suite platform has been designed to take care of a person’s all-round financial needs. Consisting of 7 different services, the platform will allow customers to carry out various transactions including paying for goods & services, acquiring instant loans, managing your chama’s group transactions and even keeping a record of your shares!
Eazzy Banking Products
This is the A-Z of paying bills and buying goods & services straight from your phone. You can pay bills from the comfort of your phone using either your Equitel line, Equity bank app or mobile money [Mpesa or Airtel money]
This is your bank anywhere, anytime. Everything you do at the bank is now on EazzyApp. You can send money to pay for your goods and services, you can access EazzyLoans, pay bills and check your account
For those without Equity accounts, you can still use the EazzyApp you can dial *247# on your current line and open one through the ‘HapoHapo’ account.
This is a mobile loan feature that allows you to borrow loans of up to Kshs 3 million on your phone. With EazzyLoan, there no need for forms or guarantors to get that loan. All you need is your Equitel line or the EazzyApp and you get your loan of any lump sum in a matter of minutes instead of weeks.
Initially, for any transactions to be made, for example withdrawal of cash, 3 chama officials needed to be present to sign in order to affect a withdrawal to be handed over to the group. This would be a huge inconvenience when emergency situations arose and one of those officials weren’t present. But not anymore.
EazzyChama helps manage group activities like record keeping and banking transactions while maintaining transparency and accessibility among all group members. EazzyChama is also for joint account holders and investment groups.
Net is an upgraded banking solution that allows users to enjoy robust security while doing online banking.
With no annual fee on EazzyNet, you can schedule recurring transactions and funds transfers to happen at a later date, view and print account statements, pay bills, top up airtime among many other simple banking transactions that would have otherwise required one to physically visit the bank’s branch.
EazzyBiz is the ultimate go-to banking solution for corporates. The product is easy to use as widgets and dashboards are incorporated for easy access.
It aims at offering corporates an online cash and liquidity management solution. It is a robust secure comprehensive cash and liquidity management solutions that enables corporates and SME clients to have visibility of their accounts through the account module. It gives a global view of your cash position, enables you to make payments, manage your cash flow among others.
EazzyAPI is especially for application developers, businesses and payment providers who can now leverage the full capability of a digital bank. It has exposed the bank’s capabilities in the form of APIs for direct integrations to their systems with bank grade security
Even without a smartphone, customers with Equitel can still pay for their goods by dialing *203# using their Equitel line.
Another feature introduced was the Eazzy Diaspora banking solution. This would help customers and members of the bank in the diaspora to safely and easily make transactions wherever they are. This is inclusive of financial transactions like buying of shares and medical insurance. With diaspora banking, this shouldn’t have to be a problem despite your geographical location.
Change is the only constant thing in the digital space. What might be there today might not be there tomorrow. A good example of that is in banking systems. There is a huge disruption already happening in how we communicate and now more than ever before, it’s causing major changes in banking as well. This step made by Equity Bank is a testament to the role that advancing technology is playing in the evolution of financial services in the continent.
In conclusion, Dr Mwangi said that there is a major factor in the success of banking is the satisfaction of the customer. Equity’s third phase of growth and evolution has been largely determined by the fact that the bank has treated their customers with honor and dignity, reaching those excluded from banking by removing existing barriers. Banking should not be determined by class, but by need.