Interswitch, Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, has partnered with Equity Bank, one of the top Banking Groups in East Africa, to provide the Bank’s customers with faster and more affordable banking services at over 650 Interswitch-enabled ATMs belonging to 17 local banks in Uganda.
This arrangement mirrors Interswitch’s operations in Nigeria and Kenya as it will also enable Equity Bank’s ATM machines to accept bank cards of other local participating banks and institutions on the Interswitch network. Equity Bank also becomes an acquirer for Verve cards, adding to its wide portfolio of cards accepted by all Point-of-Sale (POS) machine locations and ATMs countrywide. There are approximately 250,000 Verve card holders in Uganda.
Announcing the partnership at a press launch which held on Wednesday, June 7, at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, Country General Manager for Interswitch Uganda, Peter Kawumi, noted that the partnership is ideal and timely. He pointed out that for the past 20 years, Interswitch has provided technology solutions to businesses in Africa, to allow them to provide their customers with accessible, seamless, and affordable banking services.
“This partnership demonstrates an interesting shift in the attainment of service quality and competitive advantage. By joining the Interswitch network, Equity Bank will now benefit from the entire ecosystem that includes all the other financial institutions and their consumers in Uganda and across the region. In this way, Equity Bank has achieved two key things.
Firstly, the cost of transacting at ATMs and merchant locations has been significantly reduced. For example, the cost of withdrawals for Equity Bank customers at Interswitch-enabled ATMs, as well as customers of other financial institutions at Equity Bank ATMs has reduced by over 60% – “that is a significant cost reduction” said Kawumi.
Speaking about the latest partnership, Mitchell Elegbe, Founder/Group Managing Director, Interswitch Group said “Once more, we reiterate our commitment to making payment more accessible, convenient and affordable for Africans. Our partnership with Equity Bank enhances the interoperability efforts of the Ugandan financial industry and banking sector. The restriction across inter-bank payment channels in Uganda is further reduced. This partnership reiterates our capacity to support the expansion plans of our partners in Nigeria and other countries, into other regions.”
Speaking during the launch, Equity bank Managing Director Anthony Kituuka said, “We are delighted and proud of our rapid growth and expansion in Uganda over the last 15 years, bringing us to 50 branches, 7,000 Equi Duuka agents and over 6,500 merchants. This new partnership with Interswitch will support the existing network, allow us to serve our customers better and meet their financial needs right at their doorsteps. Even as the Bank continues to grow, we are committed to offering Ugandans a great customer experience with a variety of tailor-made products that speak to their financial needs.”
Adding, “whether you are a farmer, a retail or wholesale trader or on transit, Equity bank services will now be accessible across 650 Interswitch-enabled ATMs, allowing you to efficiently deposit funds, make withdrawals or make payments. We are keen on growing with our customers and look forward to serving them better with this new partnership.”
The strategic partnership between Interswitch and Equity Bank showcases the dedication of both institutions to fostering innovation and improving the availability and affordability of banking services for customers