Eq­uity Bank Em­braces Amer­i­can Ex­press

Diplomat East Africa - - Economy -

The part­ner­ship, which builds on Eq­uity Bank’s rep­u­ta­tion for of­fer­ing in­no­va­tive prod­ucts and ser­vices, gives it the ex­clu­sive rights to is­sue AMEX cards in Kenya, Uganda and Tan­za­nia. ROBIN OBINO re­ports

Ever in­no­va­tive, the Eq­uity Bank Group has ac­corded its wide cus­tomer base the priv­i­lege of reap­ing the ben­e­fits of an in­ter­na­tion­ally award win­ning pro­gramme, Mem­ber­ship Re­wards, from Amer­i­can Ex­press. This comes in the wake of a new part­ner­ship be­tween Bank and Amer­i­can Ex­press Company (AMEX).

The pro­gramme al­lows hold­ers of Green and Gold AMEX Cards to au­to­mat­i­cally reg­is­ter for the pro­gramme where they re­ceive one point for ev­ery Ksh100 spent at mer­chants (in­clud­ing on­line) and another for ev­ery Ksh200 spent at Au­to­mated Teller Ma­chines (ATM). The points never ex­pire and can be re­deemed for re­wards in­clud­ing shop­ping vouch­ers, lux­ury goods, air tick­ets and ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The part­ner­ship, which builds upon Eq­uity Bank’s rep­u­ta­tion for of­fer­ing in­no­va­tive prod­ucts and ser­vices, gives it the ex­clu­sive rights to is­sue AMEX cards in Kenya, Uganda and Tan­za­nia. The is­suance of the AMEX-branded prod­ucts be­gins by the first half of 2014.

The prod­ucts will be in­tro­duced in Kenya first, with ad­di­tional cards to be launched in Tan­za­nia and Uganda through­out 2014, sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory ap­proval. Eq­uity Bank will also ac­quire mer­chants for the Amer­i­can Ex­press net­work in th­ese coun­tries. This is aimed at sup­port­ing the ex­pan­sion of the Amer­i­can Ex­press net­work by de­vel­op­ing and main­tain­ing new mer­chant re­la­tion­ships in the re­gion.

Un­der the terms of the agree­ment, the bank will be re­spon­si­ble for all el­e­ments re­lated to the is­suance of the prod­ucts, in­clud­ing de­sign­ing the prod­uct fea­tures, own­ing the cus­tomer re­la­tion­ships and pro­vid­ing billing and credit man­age­ment.

Both Eq­uity Bank Amer­i­can Ex­press Green Card and the Eq­uity Bank Amer­i­can Ex­press Gold Card have been de­signed specif­i­cally with the bank’s clients in mind. The clients have the op­por­tu­nity to choose be­tween the two Cards de­pend­ing on their per­sonal pref­er­ences which in­clude travel, life­style and fi­nan­cial needs.

The Green Card of­fers a range of re­tail and life­style ben­e­fits and is ideal for those who will mainly use their Card to spend at lo­cal mer­chants in Kenya. The Gold Card of­fers an ad­di­tional tier of travel and life­style ben­e­fits and is par­tic­u­larly suited to those who are more fre­quent trav­ellers or more likely to spend on leisure such as din­ing out.

Mr An­drew Ste­wart, AMEX Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager, Part­ner Card Ser­vices Turkey, Mid­dle East and Africa, who presided over the launch, termed it as an im­por­tant mile­stone for both par­ties as it brings an op­por­tu­nity to of­fer tai­lored prod­ucts for Kenyan con­sumers char­ac­terised by out­stand­ing re­wards and ben­e­fits.

“This marks a key step in our grow­ing part­ner­ship with Eq­uity as we work to­gether to meet the needs of a rapidly evolv­ing pay­ments land­scape in the coun­try. We are ex­cited to part­ner with Eq­uity Bank to launch the first Amer­i­can Ex­press Cards in Kenya,” he said.

Dr James Mwangi, Eq­uity Bank Group Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer said the Bank’s mis­sion is to best serve and meet the fi­nan­cial needs of more than nine mil­lion cus­tomers. “Our as­so­ci­a­tion with Amer­i­can Ex­press, a world lead­ing pay­ments company, is there­fore part of this mis­sion to de­liver noth­ing but the best card so­lu­tions.”

Eq­uity Bank Group has made sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in its di­as­pora re­mit­tances, mer­chant ac­quir­ing in­fra­struc­ture and bank­ing and trans­ac­tion pro­cess­ing by con­nect­ing to lead­ing global pay­ment sys­tems.

Late last year, the two com­pa­nies signed an agree­ment where Eq­uity Bank cus­tomers can use Amer­i­can Ex­press Cards in the Bank’s ter­mi­nals and ATMs. In Au­gust this year, Eq­uity marked yet another mile­stone by part­ner­ing with McKin­sey & Company, a re­spected strat­egy ad­vi­sor to many of the world’s most in­flu­en­tial busi­nesses and in­sti­tu­tions, for a business strat­egy re­view.

The bank’s en­gage­ment with McKin­sey, will give the bank ac­cess to a pool of global man­age­ment re­sources re­quired to fuel its trans­for­ma­tional strat­egy geared at chang­ing bank­ing into a life­style

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