, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – Subscribers of money transfer service, M-Pesa, can now withdraw cash through Equity Bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) following a partnership between the Bank and Safaricom.
The partnership will also see the two firms use the mobile platform to launch a loan repayment service for Equity customers.
Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said on Thursday that the bank would act as an M-Pesa agent regardless of customers’ banking affiliations. He said the minimum withdrawal would be Sh200 and the maximum Sh35,000.
“Nine million people are now using M-Pesa and they can go into Equity ATMs in confidentiality (and) draw money. It will be very convenient for the subscribers as they will not have to hear the ‘we have no float’ excuse,” he said.
On his part, Equity CEO James Mwangi said the partnership would steer the country in achieving Vision 2030.
“Looking at the bigger picture I can see a testimony in pursuit to the country’s Vision 2030; where we are talking about enhancing inclusive financial access and making it available to many unbanked Kenyans,” he said.
Mr Joseph reassured that the M-Pesa agents (who currently conduct transactions) would not be affected and that the company would continue increasing its agents’ network.
“We have about 550 Equity ATMs in the country and over 15,000 M-Pesa agents across the country. Therefore these (Equity ATMs) are a very small proportion and the agents will definitely continue serving people and will continue making money,” he said with Dr Mwangi adding that Equity would also be a cashing point for the agents.
“It will also lay a strong base for low cost banking and increase the number of access point where M-Pesa customers can withdraw money. The interface is between the client’s mobile phone and the ATM which would significantly reduce the costs of access,” said Dr Mwangi.
Mr Joseph said the service was piloted in December last year and that it would increase the number of money transfers for the telecommunications company noting that the company last year had up to 75 transactions per second on the 24th of December.
Customers wishing to withdraw money will be required to go to the ATM withdrawal menu on the M-PESA menu where they will input the Equity agent number 286286 before receiving an ATM authorisation code. They will then input this code into the ATM together with their Safaricom phone number and the amount they wish to withdraw. The Equity ATM will then dispense the required cash and a transaction receipt.