Equity Bank received more than 50 per cent of all the country’s diaspora remittances largely due to its fintech capabilities, reporting significant increase in remittance market share with Equity Bank projecting further growth this year.
The Bank’s share of diaspora inflows grew by 28 per cent during the first half of the year to sh66.6 billion from sh52.2 billion.
Diaspora commission grew to sh398 million during the six-month period from sh383 million recorded during a similar period in 2018.
Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi while releasing the half year results said the increase was a result of a strategic decision to make diaspora remittances affordable.
“The growth implies that we are taking advantage of the high volume to reduce and pass the benefits to the customer and making diaspora remittance much cheaper,” said Dr. Mwangi.
In 2018, diaspora remittances increased by threefold to sh108 billion and income generated grew by 169 per cent to Kshs751 million. This was due to increased strategic partnership with payment partners including PayPal, Equity Direct, Western Union, MoneyGram, Wave and Swift.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has, for instance, identified the ease of sending money back home as a major factor in the sharp growth of Kenyan remittances. This has made the remittances to rise becoming the biggest source of foreign exchange, ahead of tourism, tea, coffee and horticulture export.
CBK data shows that the 12-month cumulative inflows to June 2019 increased to USD 2,768 million (sh276.8 billion) in the 12 months to June 2018, reflecting a 13.6 per cent growth.