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Equitel leverages Effortel platform technology

Equitel leverages Effortel platform technology.

Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and enabler, Effortel, has announced that it is working with fellow MVNO, Equitel to provide Kenyan mobile subscribers with Africa's first fully integrated banking approach via a mobile network.

In July Equitel's thin SIM card technology was officially made available to consumers, leveraging connectivity with mobile phone service provider Airtel. The service works off thin SIM technology, a thin (0.1 mm) film that is placed directly on a subscriber's SIM card which then enables dual-SIM phone functionality.

According to the Communication Authority quarterly report for Q2, financial year 2014/2015, Equitel had 394,606 subscriptions.

Equity Group Holdings Limited's group managing director Dr James Mwangi said the Equitel service has now garnered one million accounts.

Tech collaboration

In a statement Effortel said it manages all technical and administrative aspects of Equitel's MVNO partnership with Equity Bank "as part of a project that brings a more mobile and truly integrated banking experience to East Africa."

Effortel is also responsible for the day-to-day technical operations and administrative management of the service, including network capability, CRM and billing systems.

Customer services supported by the platform include a branded mobile banking service which allows users to check balance updates, make payments and withdraw money from ATMs without the need of a debit card, as well as free access to Wikipedia.

Arkadi Panitch, founder and CEO of Effortel, said: "Mobile money services are a clear success story in the African region. Mobile money transfer services have thrived over the last few years and now banks in Africa are developing their own branded services. Equity Bank has a lot of experience in the mobile banking space, but by partnering with Equitel it has a much stronger mobile banking proposition. We worked closely with Equitel to develop a fully secure and integrated mobile service."

Liudvikas Andriulis, CMO, Effortel, added: "Equity Bank recognised that the limited infrastructure of banking institutions in East Africa, along with this groundswell in mobile was driving the mobile banking phenomenon. The majority of people wanted more from the mobile banking experience than simply the wire transfer functionality offered by typical mobile wallet services.

"It was at this point that Equity Bank looked to act on this demand in the market by leveraging Equitel's existing MVNO expertise to develop an entirely new approach to mobile banking. Central to the process has been our role in adding additional MNVO expertise to make sure that the roll out was done so effectively," said Andriulis.

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