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Wednesday, Jan 22nd

Equity Bank “determined to challenge” M-Pesa, says Taisys

Equity Bank “determined to challenge” M-Pesa, says Taisys.

Ultra thin SIM technology maker Taisys Technologies says that Kenya’s Equity Bank is “determined to challenge” Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money service.

The Taiwanese headquartered Taisys released a statement Tuesday after the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) last month tentatively gave Equity Bank the go-ahead to use thin SIMs for one year.

Taisys explains that its thin SIMs can be ‘stuck’ onto existing SIM cards and “then be used to execute mobile banking transactions, releasing the bank from the limitations of a telco-issued banking SIM.”

Safaricom earlier this year issued a complaint to the CA arguing that risks such as PIN theft and denial of service could occur with the thin-SIMs.

But the CA struck down Safaricom’s complaints and gave the go-ahead for thin-SIMs.

The CA’s move has subsequently opened the way for Equity Bank to launch a rival service to M-Pesa, which has over 19 million users. Equity also won a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licence earlier this year.

“The unique nature of Kenya’s financial market provided the ideal environment for the rapid growth of mobile micropayment provider M-Pesa,” says Taisys in its statement.

“Equity Bank is determined to challenge the M-Pesa’s monopoly in this area.

“By adopting duo SIM technology, Equity Bank can now provide an alternative mobile banking and mobile money solution to consumers. By successfully securing a licence to be a mobile virtual network operator, Equity Bank becomes the first financial services institution in Kenya that is also licensed to provide telecommunication services,” adds the company.

Taisys; though, has not revealed when Equity is planning to officially launch its M-Pesa rival service.

Equity is the largest bank in East Africa with almost 9 million bank accounts.

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