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Communications Authority accuses Equity Bank of inflating Equitel numbers

Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi. (Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard)

Equity Bank is on the spot for inflating the number of customers on its mobile money service Equitel.

Data from the latest industry report by Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) shows the bank inflated the number of subscribers by 34.5 per cent.

“Finserve Africa Limited registered a total of 1.4 million mobile subscriptions, down from 2.2 million subscriptions posted in the previous quarter, translating to a decline of 34.5 per cent,” says CA in the report covering the second quarter of the 2006-17 financial year.

During the firm’s investor briefing where it released its full-year results last month, the lender reported that Equitel had grown subscriber numbers by 40 per cent during the 2015-16 financial year.

“The uptake of Equitel in the period under review increased from 1.6 million customers to 2.7 million while the downloads of the Eazzy banking app rolled out late last year was at 130,266 downloads as at December 31, 2016,” said the bank in its financial report.

In the recent filings to CA, however, Equitel has been forced to restate the number of customers on its network, a move that has seen the firm’s market share also revised downward. 

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