Mastercard, bank team up to ease cross-border money transfer

By Guardian Correspondent , The Guardian
Published at 11:28 AM Apr 12 2024
Central Bank of Kenya
Photo: Courtesy of Central Bank of Kenya
Central Bank of Kenya

MASTERCARD and Equity Bank have announced a strategic collaboration that will enable the bank’s customers to send money safely and securely to 30 countries. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for cross-border financial transactions in Kenya.

Remittances are a key economic driver in Sub-Saharan Africa with a reported $53 billion flowing into the region in 2022. The Central Bank of Kenya reported $5.77 billion worth of foreign currency inflows in 2022. Cross border remittances unlock financial inclusion by empowering individuals to access formal financial services, ultimately fostering economic growth and stability in the region.

Through Mastercard Cross-Border Services, Equity Bank customers will be able to send funds through any Equity Branch Location in Kenya. This platform offers a suite of benefits including faster transaction times, enhanced security measures, and competitive pricing, making cross-border transactions accessible to consumers across Equity Bank's expansive market network.

"Providing innovative solutions that deliver the choice, security, and flexibility that customers transacting from Kenya need and expect is a factor we take pride in. Mastercard is delighted to collaborate with Equity Bank to make this level of payment ingenuity a reality for Equity Bank customers, giving Mastercard an opportunity to bring millions of people from underserved communities into the financial and digital economy,” said Mark Elliott, President for Africa at Mastercard.

This collaboration also ensures full value for recipients as there are no landing fees. The charges linked to this innovative service are significantly lower than traditional international payments, making it a more affordable and accessible option for customers. This development aligns with the evolving payments landscape, catering to customer demands for cost-effective and efficient international transactions.

Dr James Mwangi, CBS Group Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings when speaking about the strategic alliance said: “We are excited to launch this initiative with Mastercard, which stands as a beacon of progress in financial services. This facilitates money transfers and more importantly connects lives and empowers our customers. This collaboration underscores our commitment to providing accessible financial solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers and solidifies our role in fostering inclusive growth across the region."

This initiative is poised to have a profound impact on various stakeholders, including hardworking senders who will benefit from reduced costs and the opportunity to shift remittances from informal, less regulated channels to a secure and formal platform. By leveraging Mastercard's global brand and delivery network, this strategic alliance ensures the safety and security of remittances, contributing to financial inclusion and the overall well-being of migrants and beneficiaries.

This collaboration forms part of a decade-long alliance between Equity Bank and Mastercard, aimed at elevating the payment experience for consumers across the region, setting a precedent for innovation and customer satisfaction in the world of financial services.