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Equitel removed from mobile from mobile money category

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has removed Equitel from the list of mobile money services it regulates, stating that it is a banking product.

Latest reports indicate that Equitel was not included in the telecommunications sector performance data, which resulted in the decrease of mobile money transcriptions.

“The Authority in the July-September 2019 statistics has revised its data on mobile money services, with the exclusion of data on Equitel Money, which is a mobile banking service as opposed to a mobile wallet service offered by telecommunications service providers,” CA stated in a report.

It went ahead to say that the reconsideration has occasioned the decrease in the value of transactions and indicators on mobile commerce transactions.

The developments mean that Equitel will now be regulated almost exclusively by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) which oversees banks and their services.

Equitel was launched by Equity Bank in 2015  when they acquired a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licence, combining banking, telecommunications services together with the voice and data on one SIM card.

Equitel has since transformed and is now accessible online through an app that resembles services from other banks.

Before it was dropped from the C.A’s mobile money category, Equitel’s subscriptions by June 2019 was at 1.88 million, representing a 3.6 % market share.

Its mobile money transactions increased from 87 million to 101 million as at the end of June, data from CA shows. The bank in its investor briefing said that it has 50,077 agents which doubles up for card and mobile banking transactions.