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  • Customers with Equity Bank accounts can now transact seamlessly in any of the Equity Bank branches across Africa.

  • SIRESS services to boast and facilitate monetary transactions to and from the SADC block at the cost of USD 10 only regardless of the amount

Dar es Salaam, Tuesday 27th July 2021... Equity Bank Tanzania has today introduced to market two new remittance services aiming to boast inter-country and regional remittance transactions. The new platforms, namely, Equity Bank Interbank transfers, allow real-time transactions for Equity Bank customers in any Equity Bank group branches and SADC Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS) Services that opens up remittance transactions within the 16 SADC countries.

Speaking at an event in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Equity Bank Managing Director Robert Kiboti said: "We are proud to provide a reliable financial link between Equity Bank Tanzanians customers with the rest of Equity bank network through our One Equity Inter-Country services that allow seamless real-time transactions at a minimal cost. Simply, Equity Bank Customers will be able to make deposits, receive deposits, and make withdrawals at any Equity Bank branch online in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Congo DRC as a domicile country. Also, Equity customers can now transfer to an Equity customer in any country of operation. Through our world-class digitization of the product, Equity Bank customers will enjoy the freedom of accessing all these services at their convenience of Eazzy Banking App-, and Eazzy Net& Eazzy Biz- Intercountry Funds transfer on our online banking platforms.

"The primary purpose of the product is to provide solutions for Equity customers and non-customers (deposit only) across the Group to access their accounts and transact from any of the Equity Bank group subsidiaries, in any of the local currencies. "We believe this will be an important solution to facilitate cross-border payments between Tanzania, Kenya, Congo DRC, Rwanda, and the rest of Equity network. I call upon all cross-border traders, including SMEs, Transporters, and the likes to capitalize on these new services from Equity Bank," said Mr. Kiboti.

According to the MD, another new service to hit the market is of remittances solution within the SADC block called Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS)." This is an automated interbank settlement system by the SADC participating member countries of Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Through these services, customers and non-customers will perform low-cost and secured cross-border payments within the region and make payments between countries. "For us, it's all about lowering costs and reducing risks for those seeking to send and receive payments within the SADC block," says the MD.

The Equity Bank inter-country products seek to connect all Equity Banks across the Group by leveraging on the interconnected systems to simulate all transactions through an automated system of debits and credits. The inter-country suite of services aims to provide "one equity "access for all customers and eventually extend some benefits to non-customers. These services include:

1. Inter-Country Cash Deposits
2. Inter-Country Cash Withdrawals
3. Intercountry Funds Transfer- which handles transfers between Equity subsidiary customers and other banks in the subsidiaries.
4. Inter-Company – which handles ATM withdrawals for Visa and MasterCard.

These services give all equity customers the freedom to transfer, deposit, and withdraw anywhere across the equity network and further extend the service to non-customers who will use the cash by code pick-up product.

About SADC -(SIRESS) Services
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS) is a regional payment and settlement system that facilitates funds transfer for cross-border payment in the SADC region.

The platform was implemented to reduce costs and improve cross-border payment efficiency by eliminating the need for corresponding banking for such payments. Ultimately, it is envisaged that the system will further promote and help trade within the region. The SIRESS allows individuals and companies to send funds to recipients who bank with commercial banks with the SIRESS with the SADC region.

Key objectives SIRESS services;

• Facilitation of intra-region trade for member countries
• Lowering the cost of cross-border payment through the provision of a cheaper payment mechanism
• Improvement in the efficiency of cross-border through the reduction of settlement times
• Improvement in customer service by participating commercial banks

About Equity Bank Tanzania
Equity Bank Tanzania began its operations in February 2012 and is a commercial bank licensed and regulated by the Bank of Tanzania (BOT). The Bank is also a member of the Tanzania Institute of Bankers. The Bank has its Head Office located in Dar, with a footprint of 14 branches, and is supported by 3,279 Equity Wakala, 2,302 merchants, and a network of 21 ATMs. Equity Bank Tanzania is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Plc, a financial services company listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Uganda Securities Exchange, and Rwanda Stock Exchange. In addition to Equity Bank Tanzania, the Group has banking subsidiaries in Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, and a Commercial Representative Office in Ethiopia; with additional non-banking subsidiaries engaged in the provision of investment banking, custodial, insurance agency, philanthropy, consulting, and infrastructure services.

Equity Group has an asset base of over USD 10 billion. With over 14.5 million customers, the Group is one of the biggest banks by customer base in Africa. The Group has a footprint of 336 branches, 53,151 Agents and 34,862 Merchants, and 725 ATMs. The Group is the largest Bank in market capitalization in East and Central Africa. The Banker Top 1000 World Banks 2020 ranked Equity Bank 754 overall in its global ranking, 62nd in soundness (Capital Assets to Assets ratio), 55th in terms of Profits on Capital, and 20th on Return on Assets. In 2020, Equity was ranked position 7 in the list of top 10 banks in Africa in The Banker's Top 100 African Banks, becoming the 1st Bank in Eastern and Central Africa to achieve this milestone, paving the way for East African banks to play in the league of big banks together with South Africa, North Africa, and West Africa. The Bank was ranked 5th on soundness, 9th on growth performance, 8th in return on risk, and 6th on profitability. In the same year, Moody's gave the Bank a global rating of B2 with a negative outlook.

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