M-PESA customers to access money through Equity Bank ATMs countrywide

Equity Bank has partnered with Safaricom to launch a new mobile money transfer service that will see M-PESA customers access money from the bank's automated teller machines throughout the country.

The M-PESA ATM withdrawal service will target over 8.5 million Safaricom M-PESA customers who will now be able to use their mobile phones to access money from Equity Bank's over 550 ATMs, the largest such  network in the region.

The service will enable registered M-PESA customers to withdraw amounts ranging from KSh200 to Ksh35,000 from any Equity Bank ATM.  In a breakthrough from previous ATM services, consumers of financial services do not need a bank card to access the service, making it available to many hitherto unbanked Kenyans. ATM withdrawal charges will apply.

Customers wishing to withdraw money will be required to go to the ATM withdrawal menu on the M-PESA menu where they will input the Equity Agent number 286286 and they will then receive a one-time ATM Authorisation Code. They will input this Code into the ATM together with their Safaricom phone number and the amount they wish to withdraw. The Equity ATM will then dispense the required cash and a transaction receipt.

Equity Bank's Chief Executive Officer Dr James Mwangi said the new service would not only lay a strong base for low cost banking, but would also enable many unbanked Kenyans excluded from the formal financial system to access their money using mobile phone technology.

"The beauty of this new service is that one does not have to have an account with Equity Bank to withdraw money from the banks ATMs. The service is also part of the bank's smart social responsibility to reach more Kenyans through mobile banking, allowing them to access financial services with ease," Dr Mwangi said.

He said the new service would reduce congestion caused by M-PESA queues in Equity bank branches, increase volume of ATM transactions and overall bank revenues. Equally, the new service from Equity will give customers the revolutionary money transfer service enhanced convenience attributable to an around the clock money transfer window.

Safaricom said the Equity Bank partnership would increase the number of access points where M-PESA customers can withdraw money and presented a novel way of dealing with the "liquidity" challenges customers may experience when withdrawing money from M-PESA agents given they will now have access to their cash countrywide 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The inter-linking of the M-PESA system, Kenya's first mobile money transfer service with conventional banking infrastructure like Equity's presents a ground-breaking innovation that is a fitting platform for the development of new services in line with M-PESA's positioning.

The partnership will also see the two firms use the mobile platform to launch loan repayment for Equity customers using the Pay Bill function. Also, some Equity branches will be able to offer agency service to M-PESA agents which will eventually be rolled out to all Equity branches countrywide.

The two firms said a major nationwide campaign would be launched in the media to educate customers on how to use the ATM service. Both Equity Bank and Safaricom would continue to enter into strategic partnerships of the type launched today to deepen their product offering and stretch their reach.  

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