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Kenya Equity Bank launches online forex trading platform 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Equity Bank on Tuesday launched an innovative online foreign exchange (forex) trading platform that will allow traders to access emerging market and major traded currencies at competitive prices.

James Mutuku, Equity Bank Director of Treasury told Xinhua in Nairobi that the platform dubbed “EazzyFX” offers a seamless experience in buying and selling foreign currency digitally thereby eliminating the need for face-to-face or over-the-phone transactions.

“The solution is targeted to serving small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large corporates with a view of easing the amount of time they use to get their orders completed,” Mutuku said.

Equity Bank began in Kenya in 2004 and has since opened subsidiaries in Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Mutuku said that the new EazzyFX capability gives SMEs and corporates freedom and control over their trading and saves them time since they will now trade real-time from their offices by logging into the trading platform.

He added that the digital platform will also enable forex traders to see their trading history.

The bank official said that other key features of the online service include real-time streaming access, competitive market pricing and immediate tailored request-for-quotation facilities while insights on all trades and deals are also available.

“Users are able to personalize their profiles detailing their preferred currency pairs from the main dashboard in order to monitor a specific currency or to compare particular currencies against others,” he added.

“Equity Bank is leveraging its digital solutions to drive efficiency in accessing and distributing foreign exchange liquidity in a more seamless and convenient manner,” Mutuku said.

Equity Group chief executive officer James Mwangi said that the bank plans to roll out the online trading platform to its banking subsidiaries, because it will further enhance cross border trade and impact directly on the group’s total earnings.

“We have witnessed very encouraging adoption of our digital value proposition across market and across channels. Ninety-seven percent of all bank transactions are happening outside the traditional brick and mortar branches,” said Mwangi.  Enditem


Kenyan bank partners to launch payment service to China

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Family Bank has inked a partnership deal with international financial technology firm SimbaPay to launch an instant money transfer service from the east African nation to China.

Godfrey Kamau, Family Bank chief operations officer, said the funds will be sent through messaging service WeChat and thus help boost Kenya-China trade.

“This is a huge milestone for us and our customers. We are glad to extend, more so to our SME customers, a solution that offers an instant, reliable, traceable and affordable channel to send money to their suppliers and business partners in China,” Kamau said in a joint statement.

Using QR codes, SimbaPay developed a third-party payment aggregator that enables funds delivery into WeChat’s billion subscribers.

According to SimbaPay, more than 7 million customers and businesses in Kenya will now access SimbaPay’s international money transfer service to send money to China’s WeChat Pay from Family Bank’s PesaPap mobile banking application and USSD service.

WeChat, which has more than a billion subscribers, is the largest payment and social media app in China.

“This initiative therefore connects Africa’s largest mobile money ecosystem to China’s largest payment service in real-time,” said SimbaPay.

It said traders in Kenya already use WeChat to communicate with their suppliers in China, hence this solution will be faster and less expensive as all a user requires when sending money to China is the recipient’s mobile phone number.

“Money sent by Family Bank customers and non-customers via the SimbaPay service is instantly delivered to WeChat Pay recipients in Chinese yuan. This service offers the sender a chance to review the transaction and exchange rate applicable before releasing the payment,” said SimbaPay.



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