Equity Bank partners with American Express

By Caroline Njenga

Equity Bank has stepped up efforts to enhance its card business and related payment processing services by partnering with some of the world’s leading merchant business and payment processing firms like American Express with the aim of facilitating a cash lite economy.

Equity Bank Managing Director James Mwangi says the bank is recruiting local merchants to facilitate the regional acceptance of American Express Cards among other payment solutions beyond the Bank’s channels.

In today’s world, many business owners and retailers are turning to merchant service providers to facilitate trade. Others are looking to reduce customer waiting times, process fast and secure credit card payments.

With this in mind, Equity Bank has beefed up merchant banking business by enhancing its card business and related payment services.

The bank has partnered with American Express, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Google, China Union Pay, SWIFT, JCB, VFX and Diners Club to make East Africa a cash lite economy.

Equity which reported a 58 percent growth on its payment processing and merchant business last year is planning to issue 300,000 smartphones to retailers to facilitate cashless transactions and deepen use of the new ATM cards that allow tap-and-go payments.

Mwangi confirmed that the merchant acquisition process is also geared at providing alternative revenue streams for its business partners, who will enjoy commissions for card transactions.

Equity Bank recently sealed an operating deal with American Express, by purchase volume of credit cards.

The partnership with American Express will also afford the Bank an opportunity to serve American Express Card Members visiting the East Africa region from any part of the world.

Currently, American Express holds a portfolio of more than 107.2 million cards worldwide with 33 Billion dollars in annual revenues.

Some of the merchants retained by Equity Bank to support American Express card business include retailers Nakumatt Holdings, hospitality outlets ArtCaffé, Heritage Hotels, Best Western Hotel, Imperial Hotel, Laico Regency, Leopard Beach Resort and Boma Hotels.