Kenya’s Equity Bank taps into the Chinese market with Mandarin language service
By Omondi Jerry
A recent upgrade in Equity Bank’s EazzyBanking App is set to attract the growing number of Chinese expatriates in the region.
All banking services on its mobile banking app are now available in the Mandarin language allowing Chinese expats to easily conduct any transactions.
“We are trying to target the Chinese market, and for us to encourage a Chinese client to use the bank’s app, language is the priority,” Wang Yang, Equity Bank’s relationship manager of corporate banking told CGTN during an interview.
“We have so many Chinese clients already, over 1,500 clients for both retail and wholesale and when they see they have the tools to operate on their phones, they just use it easily,” he continued.
According to Wang, upon the launch of the Mandarin language app, the bank had registered over 500 transactions within three or four days.
Equity Bank hopes the app will help improve the bank’s efforts to tap into the steadily growing Sino-Kenya market.
Latest data from the Economic Survey 2017 showed that Kenya had imported goods worth 3.5 billion US dollars from China, mainly comprising of wind-powered generators, rails and signaling systems while the country exported 100 million US dollars worth of goods to China including flowers and hides.
The bank has also set up a fully-fledged Chinese desk which serves Chinese corporate and retail clients.
“For us, it is more of an experience, the person who accesses our app is able to manage their funds in an easy and convenient manner,” said Jack Ngare, managing director of Finserve, trading as Equitel, Equity Bank’s mobile virtual network operator.
“We ensured that the app has covered all Equity customers beyond Kenya,” he added.
The introduction of Mandarin language into Equity’s business dealings will also enhance Sino-Kenya business relationships since Chinese clients will be able to transact easily, while in the regions covered by Equity. Those regions currently include Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, DR Congo and South Sudan.
“Mandarin is widely spoken, even more than English and so this will help the Chinese clients coming to Kenya get inclusive financial services in this part of the world and not try finding how to translate from English to their language,” Ngare said.
This upgrade on the app is set to make it easier for retail customers when making a transaction.
“The app is very convenient since I don’t have to go to the bank to withdraw money for a transaction or even when I want to transact using M-Pesa, the app allows me to just send the money directly to whoever I want. It is very convenient,” Anna, a Chinese customer with Equity Bank said.
The EazzyBanking App has also other convenience enhancing features, including the interoperability feature that allows customers to send and receive money from any mobile money wallet or any account in other banks.