> Posted by Center Staff

Equity Bank, Kenya’s largest bank by customer base, has applied for a license to operate a mobile telco business, a move that strongly suggests intent to enter the mobile money space. If realized, the bank and its 8 million customers could significantly disrupt M-Pesa’s current domination of the country’s market and help drive competition and innovation.

Given the type of license being sought, Equity Bank would not build a new telecommunications network, but would instead partner with one of the country’s prominent telcos and deploy services using this partner’s infrastructure.

Safaricom’s M-Pesa currently has a commanding hold on mobile money in Kenya with 21 million subscribers, covering roughly 75 percent of the country’s adult population. If Equity Bank’s customers were to subscribe to the in-house mobile money service in question, it would be positioned as the second largest in the country.

We look forward to the decision on Equity’s license and the action to follow.

Image credit: GSMA