In the scheme of major technological leaps, first came “computer”, then “online” and currently from the looks of it “cashless” is quickly becoming the next phenomenon. Across the world, many large businesses have already made necessary switches to get onboard online payments. Smaller and mid-sized businesses are also not too far behind. All in all, the times we are looking at and acting in, are times of transition. Statistics by trusted organizations also seem to be pointing at a similar truth. Take the instance of the Global Payment Report 2018 by Worldpay. It states how mobile payments will become the second most commonly used payment method following debit cards, by 2022. Based on data provided by Kantar TNS and eMarketer in 2017, it was found that the demand for mobile payments was highest in China, Mongolia, Brazil and Kenya.
Online payment gateways slowly and surely have taken on the task earlier met by long queues and endless interactions between business and customer. This clearly has had a largely positive impact on all parties involved, simply because the convenience and flexibility encountered are unparalleled. While online frauds and other security concerns continue to rear their heads, this aspect of fintech has won over the world. As mentioned earlier, countries like Kenya are roaring ahead in terms of innovation, risk-taking and listening-in so that real customer needs are met.
In this context, it’s necessary that Finserve is talked about, being right up there as the finance company Kenya for payment gateways.
What puts Finserve on the map?
Owned by Equity Group Holdings, Finserve operates as a mobile virtual network operator. Equity Group Holdings happens to be the biggest banking group in Kenya. Finserve trades under the name of Equitel, which has been responsible for creating innovative fintech products for Equity Bank, which is also owned by the Equity Group. Finserve leapt into the news in 2018 when it launched Kenya’s first every keyboard app. Which happens to be not just a keyboard app but an intelligent fintech offering that allows people to borrow loans and make other types of financial transactions.
A major part of Finserve’s transactional underpinnings has been defined by the long-term vision nurtured by Equity Bank. This has everything to do with fintech bridging the gap between those who have banking privileges, those who don’t and services that look at enabling people financially. This vision has been instrumental in making the bank a giant in the last 15 years of its operations. And Finserve has had a very important role to play in this process, as Equitel (trade name of Finserve) accounts for more than 77% of all the transactions of the banking group. According to James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Bank, 89% of all successfully processed loans occur through mobile channels and 96% of transactions occur outside of the brick-and-mortar setup.
What are Finserve’s offerings?
As the finance company responsible for major online payment providers in Kenya, Finserve is known for the following offerings :
In an attempt to address a growing digital lifestyle while acknowledging the varied financial backdrop of Kenya currently, Finserve launched mKey. At first glance, mKey is an efficient keyboard app that can replace the keyboard that originally came with your phone. It has more functionalities, including a set of custom emojis created to fit the Kenyan cultural context. At a deeper level, mKey also operates as a mobile banking service, specifically for borrowing loans and sending money. The app is highly gamified to keep users engaged and what’s more, it also comes with a reward system that looks at more rewards with more usage! So along with sending to mobile, to the bank and through social media, mKey helps in buying airtime, buying goods as well as in withdrawing money and getting loans.
– Jenga API
This is a third-party API integration service started by Finserve, to enable businesses greater flow between their services, products and their customers. Jenga API has collated complex underlying information across 5 modes of payments and basically serves as a single point integration service. Jenga API feeds into capabilities of banking and regulatory partners across six countries across Africa. Its carefully designed APIs can function at simpler levels and can also take on more complex processes.
– Jenga PGW
In a universal context of businesses moving away from brick-and-mortar, payment gateways are the new messiahs of financial transactions. Jenga PGW is a payment gateway service created by Finserve for large and small businesses so that the latter can give their customers a seamless online experience. Faster checkouts and online fraud protection are two major features of Jenga PGW. These gateways make it possible for businesses to receive payments from across 180 countries.
Equitel is a flexible fintech product that is accessible to anyone wanting to manage their money, which includes borrowing money and use a diverse set of mobile telephony services. Equitel services come with a handset, enabling users to put two SIMs at a time if they wish to.