Partnership to increase financial inclusion and boost EMV migration efforts in the region


To tweet this news, copy and paste #MasterCard and Equity Bank collaborate to extend financial inclusion in East Africa http://bit.ly/13wxOGE


Nairobi, Kenya, 15 January 2013 – MasterCard and Equity Bank of Kenya today announced an agreement at a signing ceremony in Nairobi to issue five-million MasterCard-branded debit and prepaid cards.  This program empowers African consumers to use electronic payments which provide a safe and secure way to pay versus cash and other forms of payment.


As a result of the partnership, MasterCard debit and prepaid cards with chip-enabled technology will be issued, first into the Kenyan market and then extended into Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and South Sudan, signaling the largest rollout of EMV payment cards in sub-Saharan Africa to date. The cards will also introduce MasterCard PayPass™ with the first ever installation of PayPass enabled point of sale terminals across the region. 


The suite of products that will be made available in the East African region will include Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) technology which allows merchants to receive payments via low cost add-ons linked to secure applications on their mobile devices (such as a smart phone or tablet). This technology will extend the security and convenience of electronic payments to merchants and their customers who previously depended on cash to transact.


“MasterCard is committed to extending financial inclusion across East Africa and the rest of the continent, introducing the unbanked and under-banked to the benefits of electronic payments”, said Ajay Banga, MasterCard President and CEO. “Our vision of a world beyond cash is only achievable through collaborations with industry stakeholders, such as the Equity Bank partnership.


“Working together with governments, financial institutions, merchants and businesses, together we will be able to help modernize the payment industry and assist East Africa reach its full potential as a financial power-house competing on a global platform,” Banga concluded.


According to the Finscope Rwanda 2012 survey, financial exclusion in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda stands at 33%, 30%, 56% and 28.1% respectively, indicating the opportunity for both Equity Bank and MasterCard to extend financial inclusion to those previously not exposed to the benefits of electronic payment solutions.


Dr. James Mwangi, Group CEO, Equity Bank commented, “In line with our vision of championing the social economic prosperity of our people, we will continue to execute strategic partnerships that will broaden financial access and deepen inclusion in the region. Our commitment is to continue innovating financial products and services that give our customers the freedom of modern banking while supporting their social economic dreams. We will continue to align our financial intermediation with national strategies in every market we operate. The partnership with MasterCard will help to solidify our position as one of the leading banks in East Africa.” He added, “We have chosen MasterCard as our partner due to the fact that we have a shared vision of an East Africa that is more financially inclusive for all its citizens and less dependent on cash.  Cardholders will be able to use their MasterCard PayPass debit or prepaid cards at any location that accepts MasterCard worldwide,” Dr. Mwangi concluded.  Globally, PayPass is present in 48 countries and accepted at nearly 550,000 merchant locations.Equity Bank’s investment in a robust IT platform continues to pay dividends as the Bank ventures into strategic partnerships such as this with a view to becoming a one stop shop for financial services in the region.  The Bank runs on a Global Robust State of the Art Information Technology Computer System supported by


Infosys, HP, Oracle and Microsoft.  The multi-currency, multi-company, multi- country system has a capacity of 35 million accounts and a processing speed of 300,000 transactions per minute.  This system is supported by Way4, an online Card Management System which has multi-institution and multi-currency transaction processing capability and has the ability to handle over 60 million cards with speed performance of 180,000 transactions per minute.


The Bank operates on the EMV (Europay-MasterCard-VISA) technology in its Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) outlets and point of sales (POS) as well as at Equity agency locations. The Robust System is backed by a comprehensive Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery System.


 “We shall continue to strengthen our business model through innovation, enhanced use of technology and automation for a better customer experience,” said Dr. Mwangi.


The partnership between MasterCard and Equity Bank is part of the payments solutions provider’s goal of  increasing its business in the region by providing added value to more customers, while at the same time encouraging the uptake of cashless transactions in the region as envisioned in its pursuit of a cashless global economy.

Related stories

Equity Bank Uganda marks 10-year anniversary with a move to a state-of-the-art head office in Church House

Equity Bank Uganda has moved its Head Office to the ultramodern Church house building on 34 Kampala...

View More
Equity Bank Unveils Its Digital Banking Solutions

The Eazzy Banking suite of products includes a banking app known as EazzyBanking App which allows...

View More
EIB signs Kshs 10.45 billion support for East African entrepreneurs

The EIB is committed to supporting Kenyan Banks in providing credit to the young and growing...

View More
Equity Bank’s differentiated strategy results in growth of the Bank’s size to nearly half a trillion on the backdrop of a challenging operating environment

The Group’s profit before tax grew to KShs 24.9bn from KShs 24.0 bn with the regional subsidiaries...

View More
Equity Group secures its shareholders nod for a Kshs 20 billion pan African expansion bid

The approvals, which were secured during the firm’s 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held today...

View More
Equity's Partnership With Kyamuhunga Uplifts Tea Farmers

The factory, commissioned by Uganda’s President, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has so far exported...

View More
Equity Bank Unveils MVNO strategy and rollout plan

Equity Bank today unveiled its Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) strategy and rollout plan...

View More
Equity Bank profit before tax up 21 percent in first quarter 2013

The Group posted a profit before tax of Kshs 4.52 billion up from Kshs 3.73 billion posted during a...

View More
Equity Bank's Strategy Increases Profits by 36 percent

The Group’s total assets posted a 24% growth during the year to close at Ksh 243 billion up from...

View More
Orange launches Visa card in partnership with Equity Bank

Orange launches Visa card in partnership with Equity Bank.

View More
Equity Bank CEO joins Global Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

Equity Bank Group CEO, Dr. James Mwangi has joined the Global Alliance for Food Security and...

View More
21 Equity Bank Scholars receive scholarships to study in world leading universities in 2012

21 scholars in the Equity Bank university sponsorship program have so far received scholarships in...

View More
Equity Bank profit before tax grows by 29%

During the period under review, Equity Bank Group’s loan book grew by 27% from Kshs 97.7 billion...

View More
250 Top KCSE scholars to benefit from Equity Bank's university sponsorship programme

Two hundred and fifty top performers in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education are...

View More
Equity Bank Group and IFC Team up to Expand Access to Finance in East Africa

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, today extended a Kshs 8.3...

View More
Purchase for Progress November Update Access to Finance

This issue focuses on access to finance. It includes two articles from the field (Kenya and El...

View More
Equity Uganda officially unveils a new brand identity aimed at charting sustainable growth.

Equity will now present itself as a unified brand with a consolidated business model for its...

View More
Equity Bolsters its Support to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda & DRC with USD 75 Million (Kshs 8.25 Billion) Women Guarantee Fund with African Guarantee Fund (AGF)

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF) and Equity Group Holdings Plc have signed an agreement which will...

View More
United Nations Uganda and Equity Bank Uganda establish new partnerships for acceleration of attainment of the SDGs

The new partnership will promote social inclusion and improve economic outcomes for human...

View More
Equity Bank Uganda Donates 2,000 Mosquito Nets Worth UGX 40 million for Market Vendors Towards the Fight against COVID-19

This contribution is in addition to what the Bank had previously donated to the COVID-19 task force...

View More
Service finder
Equity Bank is Regulated by Bank of Uganda