Mastercard, Equity Bank partner to revolutionise Kenya’s cross-border payments.

Mastercard and Equity Bank have unveiled a strategic collaboration aimed at transforming cross-border financial transactions in Kenya. This partnership will empower Equity Bank customers to safely and securely send money to 30 countries, heralding a new era for remittances and financial inclusion in the region.

Remittances serve as a vital economic lifeline in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the region receiving a substantial $53 billion in 2022. In Kenya alone, the flow of foreign currency reached $5.77 billion in the same year, according to the Central Bank of Kenya. Such remittances are crucial not just for individual recipients but also for the broader economic stability and growth, as they enable access to formal financial services.

The new service provided through Mastercard Cross-Border Services promises several enhancements. Customers of Equity Bank can now initiate fund transfers at any branch within Kenya, benefiting from faster transaction times, heightened security, and competitive pricing. These features aim to make cross-border money transfers more accessible and efficient across Equity Bank’s extensive market network.

Mark Elliott, Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard, emphasized the company’s commitment to innovation. “Providing innovative solutions that deliver the choice, security, and flexibility that customers transacting from Kenya need and expect is a factor we take pride in,” Elliott said. He added that the collaboration is a step forward in integrating millions of underserved individuals into the financial and digital economies.

One of the notable features of this collaboration is the absence of landing fees for recipients, ensuring they receive the full value of transferred money. The charges for these services are also considerably lower than those associated with traditional international payment methods. This makes the new service an affordable and accessible option for many, aligning with customer demands for more cost-effective and efficient international transactions.

Dr. James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc, highlighted the broader implications of the partnership. “We are excited to launch this partnership with Mastercard, which stands as a beacon of progress in financial services,” stated Dr. Mwangi. He pointed out that the initiative not only facilitates money transfers but also connects lives and empowers customers, reinforcing Equity Bank’s commitment to accessible financial solutions that adapt to customer needs and contribute to inclusive growth in the region.

The initiative is set to benefit a wide array of stakeholders, particularly the hardworking individuals who send remittances back home. They will enjoy reduced costs and can shift their money transfers from informal, less regulated channels to a secure and formal platform. By leveraging Mastercard’s global brand and delivery network, the partnership guarantees the safety and security of remittances, enhancing financial inclusion and improving the well-being of migrants and their beneficiaries.

This collaboration marks a continuation of a decade-long partnership between Equity Bank and Mastercard, which has been focused on elevating the payment experience for consumers across the region. It sets a new benchmark for innovation and customer satisfaction in the financial services industry, promising to reshape how Kenyans engage with the global financial system.


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