Equity Bank Kenya has announced a new standard SMS charge of Kshs. 2.26 for mobile and online transaction confirmation alerts. The new charge, effective from 24th April, has caused an uproar among its customers, who view it as a backward move that will discourage the use of mobile banking services. This breaking news article aims to explore the implications of the new charge and shed light on why it is seen as a retrogressive step.
Banks recently received the go-ahead to re-introduce bank-to-mobile money wallet charges which led to Kenyans begging for them to voluntarily remove them. So far only I&M Bank has removed the charges while other major banks reinstated the charges.
The introduction of the new standard SMS charge instead of the removal of mobile banking charges has come as a surprise to many, considering that Equity Bank has always prided itself on offering affordable banking services to its customers.
The new SMS charge is likely to have far-reaching implications for Equity Bank and its customers. For starters, it will discourage the use of mobile banking services, especially among low-income earners who rely on mobile phones to access financial services. It will also increase the cost of banking for customers who make multiple transactions, as they will have to pay the SMS charge for each confirmation alert they receive. This could potentially lead to a decline in the bank’s revenue, as customers opt for alternative banking services with lower transaction costs.
Also Read: Equity Bank to M-Pesa Transfer Charges 2023
Equity Bank’s decision to introduce the SMS charge is a backward move that goes against the spirit of financial inclusion. Mobile banking has been touted as a game-changer in Kenya’s financial sector, with millions of previously unbanked citizens now able to access financial services through their mobile phones. The introduction of the SMS charge could reverse the gains made in promoting financial inclusion, as it will make banking services less affordable for the masses.
The Response from Customers
The response from Equity Bank’s customers has been overwhelmingly negative, with many taking to social media to express their displeasure. Some customers have accused the bank of being greedy, while others have threatened to close their accounts and move to other banks that offer more affordable banking services.
I'm definitely closing my account with these guys https://t.co/ILG2dedjni
— BOYOT 👴 (@Kevlan_) April 26, 2023
Whaaat!!! After the high transaction charges bado mnakamua coins under water!?
— Hulk (@Bonnyhulk3) April 26, 2023
Daylight robbery…. bold move Equity its straight up twisting the dagger inside the heart but I've learnt to expect nothing less from these lot
— Papa D (@iam_njenga) April 26, 2023
Equity to Equity transactions have now started being charged as well?
Mlisema which banks no longer have the transaction charges, from Mpesa to Bank or vice versa?
— meg_kago (@mwari_wa_kago) April 26, 2023
I have written about Equity Bank being boycotted before, it needs to reconsider its decision and explore alternative ways of covering the cost of sending confirmation alerts. It should also engage with its customers and seek their input before making major decisions that affect their banking experience.