As Kenya’s Equity Bank prepares to roll out the pilot for its thin SIM technology, the bank has said that at least 200,000 customers have already signed up for the mobile phone service.
The mobile offering by Equity seeks to provide Kenyans with an option where they will not have to pay any fee to send money to friends and family, with the withdrawal charges for any amount standing at KSh 25.
Speaking about the delay in the roll out to a larger group of people, James Mwangi, Equity Bank’s CEO said they were facing a challenge of having to deal with large numbers of potential customers at a go.
The Bank is working to manage the huge interest in the thin SIM card in a way that will not cause disruption in the normal business sector with massive roll out at once.
Through the mobile money service, Equitel, customers at the bank who will be registered will be able to send money to friends for free during the one year period that the Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya has given the bank to carry out the pilot program.
After the one year pilot, success or failure of the service will determine how the Bank will proceed forward with the service.
The service, which was planned to roll out this week but faced delays, will use the thin SIMs to offer telecommunications and mobile banking services through the Airtel network.
Equity Bank’s thin SIM technology attracted opposition from network provider Safaricom when it was first announced, as well as from one of its customers for risk of data theft.