Equity Bank Kenya partners Tanzania’s payment processing startup NALA

TANZANIAEquity Bank Kenya, a financial services provider, has signed a partnership with NALA Payments Limited, a Tanzanian-based remittance payment processing startup to facilitate diaspora remittances into Kenya.

This partnership will allow Kenyans living in the United Kingdom and the United States to send money directly from their banks, through the NALA app, instantly and at the most competitive rates to Equity Bank Kenya accounts and other mobile wallets.

Equity Bank Kenya offers integrated financial services to their clients. By engaging NALA as its technology partner, the Bank fortifies its position in remittances by giving its customers access to simple, competitive and faster services leveraging the growing popularity of digital channels.

It also allows NALA to reliably serve their users in the United States and the United Kingdom who would like to save and invest in the Kenyan economy through a solid financial infrastructure.

NALA’s mission is to increase economic opportunities globally and partnering with Equity Bank is a foundational step for us. Combining NALA’s technology with Equity Bank’s reach allows us to build stronger financial infrastructure for Kenyans worldwide,” NALA CEO Benjamin Fernandes commented.

“Payments in Africa are 1% built, and technology enables us to make strides towards integrating the financial tools for advancement.”

Robert Kiboti, Equity Head of Private Banking who spoke on behalf of Equity Bank Kenya’s Managing Director Gerald Warui said that this partnership cements the bank’s position as the leading bank supporting Kenyans in the diaspora to send money to their loved ones as well as for investments.

He added that the bank is delighted to work with NALA to bridge the access gap.

He attributed this linkage as one that will help widen the geographical reach in the remittances segment.

“Equity will continue to build linkages with like-minded partners such as NALA to ensure that all its members have access to seamless and most competitive remittance services,” he said.

“Using fintech capabilities has given us a global presence, and as a result, we have become a major processor of remittances payments around the world including across currencies.”

Equity grew the volume of diaspora remittances it processed by 39 per cent in 2021 compared to the corresponding period in 2020, leveraging on the growing popularity of digital channels for sending money home from abroad.

It handled KSh383.5 billion (US$3.23bn) in remittances in the 12 months to December, up from KSh279.4 billion (US$2.35bn) in 2021.

NALA is also opening a new office in Nairobi, to host a third of the company’s staff. While NALA operates with a globally remote workforce, operational components like partnerships and customer support will be grounded in the Nairobi Headquarters under the leadership of NALA COO Nicolai Eddy.

Despite the array of options for sending money to Africa from abroad, the continent continues to be the most expensive place to send money.

The World Bank estimates average transfer fees to Africa at ~9%. Further, many of the existing options include hidden fees that make it hard to discern the true cost of sending money. Last year the two entities inked a similar deal in Tanzania.

NALA and Equity Bank are changing the paradigm of financial tools across the region by providing fair and transparent services to empower people with control over their finances.

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