Equity Bank Diaspora Remittances Hit Sh 67 Billion in First Half Of 2019.
NAIROBI, 20TH AUGUST 2019: Equity Bank’s share of diaspora inflows grew by 28% during the first half of the year to Kshs66.6 billion from Kshs52.2 billion.
The Bank received more than 50% of all the country’s diaspora remittances largely due to its fintech capabilities, reporting a significant increase in remittance market share with Equity Bank projecting further growth this year.
Diaspora commission grew to Kshs398 million during the six-month period from Kshs383 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 volume is growing at 28% and the commission is growing at 4%. This 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 Kshs108 billion and income generated grew by 169% to Kshs751 million. This was due to an 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 to become 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 (Kshs276.8 billion) in the 12 months to June 2018, reflecting a 13.6% growth.