Kenya’s Equity Bank launches fintech subsidiary

Kenya’s Equity Group Holdings Plc has launched its fintech subsidiary, Finserve, which will operate as an autonomous commercial enterprise, delivering solutions not just for Equity Group, but to the entire economy.

Finserve has been the technology arm of Equity Group and is credited with revolutionizing banking and other financial services through digitization. It has been behind innovations such as Equitel, the Group’s Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). It also innovated the digital banking capability of Equity Bank under the brand name Eazzy Banking.

“Our vision is to power business ecosystems through innovation and collaboration that cut across geographical boundaries and sectors,” said Finserve Managing Director, Jack Ngare.

During the launch of Finserve, which was attended by developers, start-ups and SMEs, the company unveiled two solutions, the Jenga Payment Gateway and Jenga APIs.

The Jenga Payment Gateway is a breakthrough innovation created to support businesses in processing payments in the crowded East African payment space that has seen card, mobile wallet and fintech players proliferate daily. It consolidates all payments to the Jenga platform and presents one integration platform to businesses.

To date, Finserve has offered solutions to businesses in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

“On the settlement side, Jenga Payment Gateway allows cash-out by merchants to any bank in the world and to all mobile wallets in any of the seven countries,” said Ngare.

“You can now use over 64 fintech, regtech and insuretech APIs to power your business. Currently, Finserve reaches 4 million people daily through its APIs, working with 136 developers and SMEs,” Ngare added.

Equity Group recorded an 18 percent growth in profit after tax to Kshs.11 billion (USD109 million) up from Kshs.9.4 billion for the same period last year, riding on innovation.

According to the bank, innovation and digitization has contributed significantly to improved efficiency gains and cost optimization that has seen the Group’s total expenses declining by 2 percent from Kshs.17.6 billion to Kshs.17.3 billion.