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Equity Sheds ATMs in Shift to Mobile, Agency Banking

Kenya’s biggest bank by customer numbers, Equity Bank, has closed 11 ATM lobbies, each of which had multiple cash dispensing machines. This is the lender’s effort to shift customers to alternative channels such as agency and mobile banking in a fresh cost-cutting strategy.

 

Equity’s chief executive James Mwangi said ATMs require upfront capital investments to acquire the machines and lease space, yet they depreciate at 20 percent annually. However, agency and mobile banking have no such capital commitments. He told the Business Daily that the shift is informed by evolving preferences of its 9.59 million customers who want to do their banking on the go through mobile phones, or access banking within their neighbourbood via agents.