Under the terms of a recently signed agreement, Equity Bank will be the exclusive issuer of American Express card products in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The agreement also stipulates that Equity Bank will acquire merchants to the AmEx network, starting in Kenya this month. New products will first be introduced in Kenya, and other cards will be launched in Tanzania and Uganda throughout 2014.
“We are pleased to enter into this agreement with American Express, which will further strengthen our customer relationships and also give us an opportunity to serve American Express Card Members in East Africa,” Equity Bank CEO and Managing Director James Mwangi said. “This partnership is in line with our business strategy of becoming a one stop shop for financial services and giving our customers and partners the freedom of modern banking in today’s fast-paced world. Our investment in a robust IT platform continues to pay dividends and gives us the opportunity to continue investing in products and services that suit our customers who are increasingly becoming technology-driven and seeking borderless and seamless financial services.”
Over the past year, through its connections with global payment systems, Equity has made substantial investments in merchant acquiring infrastructure, remittances and banking and transaction processing.
“Our partnership with Equity Bank marks our first foray into offering American Express products in East Africa, where we see a number of unique and exciting growth opportunities,” Peter Wright, the executive vice president and head of AmEx’s EMEA partner card services division, said. “We are delighted to partner with Equity Bank, who is a leader in financial innovation, and we look forward to delivering a compelling range of new products to its extensive base of customers and expanding the scope and reach of the American Express brand in this region.”
Equity Bank is the largest bank in southeastern Africa, in terms of customer base, with over 8.5 million accounts, representing 50 percent of all bank accounts in Kenya. The bank has a presence in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.