Nine years ago, Equity Bank and Safaricom PLC launched the second most innovative product in the Kenyan financial sector which failed to take off. MKesho, an integrated service between the two companies was to allow its users to send money from their MPesa accounts to Equity Bank Accounts seamlessly.
Signing a Memorandum of Understanding between Equity Bank and Safaricom to deepen financial inclusion in the country, the two have announced plans to revamp MKesho.Speaking during the event, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore stated that there were challenges previously when the product was launched and they have moved to address them.
With over 20 Million customers, their newfound love will build more financial products, simplify cash delivery between their agents and share technical knowledge to approach risks such as fraud cybersecurity.
“This is the beginning of a journey, where we will allow Kenyans to say what it is they want. We once had a common view of what the problem was. Though we looked at it from different lenses, there was some alignment on addressing the problem of an ordinary Kenyan. We are just trying to do what the customers want. They were saying I am a regular customer of both Equity and Safaricom why do I have to make a choice? And we felt MKesho could answer that,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.
Equity CEO James Mwangi admitted to the failure of Mkesho, acknowledging that back then they were small and inexperienced. But for the last six years, they have worked hard to earn the public trust and recognition making them more experienced and wiser in meeting their consumers at that point of need.
“Safaricom has 31 million customers, Equity has 14 million customers. Equity is a subset of Safaricom customer Base. MKesho might not be a flagship but for the time being that is what we have and that is what we can show. As we move we will see whether there are opportunities for regulatory approval,” he noted.