Equity in deal with NALA to enable diaspora remittances from Kenyans in UK and US

Equity Bank Kenya has signed a partnership with NALA Payments Limited, a remittance payment processing platform licensed in the UK and United States, to facilitate diaspora remittances into Kenya.

This partnership will allow Kenyans living in the UK and US to send money directly from their banks, through the NALA app, instantly and at the most competitive rates to Equity Bank Kenya accounts and other mobile wallets.

(TOP: Benjamin Fernandes – right – the NALA CEO, displays the NALA App alongside Robert Kiboti, Equity Head of Private Banking – left – during the launch of a partnership between NALA and Equity Bank Kenya to facilitate diaspora remittances into Kenya. The partnership will allow Kenyans living in the UK and US to send money directly from their banks, through the NALA app, instantly and at the most competitive rates to Equity Bank Kenya accounts and other mobile wallets).

Equity Bank Kenya offers integrated financial services to their clients and by engaging NALA as their technology partner, the Bank fortifies its position in remittances by giving its customers access to simple, competitive and faster services leveraging off the growing popularity of digital channels. It also allows NALA to reliably serve their users in the US and UK who would like to save and invest in the Kenyan economy through a solid financial infrastructure.

NALA CEO Benjamin Fernandes commented: “NALA’s mission is to increase economic opportunities globally and partnering with Equity Bank is a foundational step for us. Combining NALA’s technology with Equity Bank’s reach allows us to build stronger financial infrastructure for Kenyans worldwide. Payments in Africa are 1% built, and technology enables us to make strides towards integrating the financial tools for advancement.”

Robert Kiboti, Equity Head of Private Banking who spoke on behalf of Equity Bank Kenya’s MD Gerald Warui said that this partnership cements the position of the bank as the leading bank supporting Kenyans in the diaspora to send money to their loved ones as well as for investments. He added that the bank is delighted to work together with NALA to bridge the access gap.

He attributed this linkage as one that will help widen the geographical reach in the remittances segment. “Equity will continue to build linkages with likeminded partners such as NALA to ensure that all its members’ have access to seamless and most competitive remittance services. Using fintech capabilities has given us a global presence, and as a result we have become a major processor of remittances payments around the world including across currencies,” he said.

Equity grew the volume of diaspora remittances it processed by 39 percent in 2021 compared to the corresponding period in 2020, leveraging on the growing popularity of digital channels for sending money home from abroad. It handled Kshs 383.5 billion in remittances in the 12 months to December, up from Kshs 279.4 billion in 2021.

NALA is also opening a new office in Nairobi, to host a third of the company’s staff. While NALA operates with a globally remote workforce, operational components like partnerships and customer support will be grounded in the Nairobi Headquarters under the leadership of NALA COO Nicolai Eddy.

Despite the array of options for sending money to Africa from abroad, the continent continues to be the most expensive place to send money. The World Bank estimates average transfer fees to Africa at ~9%. Further, many of the existing options include hidden fees that make it hard to discern the truecost of sending money. Last year the two entities inked a similar deal in Tanzania. NALA and Equity Bank are changing the paradigm of financial tools across the region by providing fair and transparent services to empower people with control over their finances.

NALA is a payments company which has a money transfer app that enables users to make secure and reliable payments from the UK and the United States to Africa in seconds. The firm aims to increase economic opportunity on the African continent and its diaspora worldwide. Creating community-powered financial solutions makes it easier to make day-to-day payments and do business in an increasingly global Africa.

Payments in Africa are 1% built. NALA aspires to bring 21st-century payment technology to Africa to create a low-cost and highly reliable set of payment rails that friends, family, and businesses can use. When payments are simple, reliable, and available at the touch of a button, anything is possible.

Equity Bank Kenya is the largest bank subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings. Equity Group Holdings is a pan-African financial services holding company listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Uganda Securities Exchange, and Rwanda Stock Exchange with banking subsidiaries in Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and a Commercial Representative office in Ethiopia. It has other subsidiaries in investment banking, insurance, telecom, fintech and social impact investments. Equity Group is the largest financial services institution in the region with assets of Kshs 1.35 trillion ($13.5 billion). It is also the biggest bank in deposits, market capitalization of $2 Billion and with a customer base of over 16.4million customers.


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