WAY4 Becomes a Key to M-PESA Mobile Accounts in Kenya
Equity, the leading bank in Kenya, has migrated to OpenWay's WAY4 payment processing system. With WAY4, Equity can work as a payment switch and launch new services for retail customers, including acquiring EMV cards and interacting with M-Pesa mobile accounts. Participation in the M-Pesa project has secured the bank’s position in the promising micropayments market.
February 24, 2011 - Kenya
“The new system not only gives Equity a strong competitive advantage in cutting edge technology and card management, but allows speedy and efficient transaction process in real time, and in all currencies,” stated James Mwangi, CEO of Equity bank. The bank leverages WAY4 to work as a payment switch and optimise financial interaction of its branches, offices and partner banks in the region. Furthermore, Equity ATMs countrywide allow M-Pesa users to withdraw cash from their mobile accounts.
The M-Pesa system allows mobile payments and transfers without the necessity of opening a bank account. These services are used by ten million people in Kenya, many of whom are unbanked. Thanks to participation in the M-Pesa project, Equity not only expands its business in new directions but also gets the opportunity to offer its retail banking products and services to a large potential customer base.
Equity’s success confirms the advantages of the WAY4 processing platform as a powerful new generation switch, or, as it’s more often called today, a payment service hub. «We are happy that WAY4 switch functionality helped Equity to transform possible competition into a strategic and profitable partnership. The experience OpenWay has gained from this project will benefit all our clients who set ambitious goals in the area of micropayments», adds Wim Pardon, Managing Director of OpenWay EMEA.
Equity Bank of Kenya (www.equitybank.co.ke) is the largest and fastest growing bank in Kenya, with 4.5 million client accounts that constitute more than 54% of all client accounts in the entire country. The bank also has branches in Uganda and South Sudan. Equity Bank has a reputation as an innovator in banking and financial services.
M-PESA is the first Kenyan commercial mobile payment and transfer system, created in March 2007 by Safaricom with the support of Vodafone. The system was created for people who don’t use bank services. This innovative project turned out to be in high demand on the African market. According to information as of March 2010, M-PESA has over 9.5 million subscribers, served by 17,500 agents.
OpenWay Group was founded over 15 years ago. We develop WAY4, an innovative e-payment processing framework for banks, payment processors, telcos and petrol companies.
OpenWay was initially headquartered in Brussels, Belgium with one R&D team there and another in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today we are a global company with 10 offices and 130 customers around the world.
Our portfolio consists of WAY4 Card and Merchant Management, Financial Switching, Personalised Channel Banking, Prepaid Cards, E-Commerce, Mobile Payments, Digital Wallet, DCC, Fuel Cards, and other solutions.
Our customers include tier-1 giants, mid-size companies, and ambitious start-ups:
- Equens, Western Europe (SEPA-acquiring of 0.5 million merchants on WAY4)
- Savings Bank of Russia (issuing and acquiring back-office, and authorization switch for 140 million credit and debit cards on WAY4)
- SIX Group, a leading European payment company processing over 4,000,000 cards and migrated over 30 banks to WAY4 within 15 months
- Comdata, USA (commercial cards on WAY4)
- Network International, the Middle East (a processing center with approximately 60 banks on WAY4)
- Raiffeisenbank Int., Eastern Europe (a processing center for 15 banks and countries on WAY4)
- Bank Audi, MENA region (more than 40 card products on WAY4 including NFC)
- Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan (the first bank to launch Visa P2P Mobile Transfers)
- Lukoil Intercard, Eastern Europe (B2B fuel cards with comprehensive loyalty services on WAY4)
WAY4 live installations consistently demonstrate high performance; for example, 90 million cards issued and authorized on a single platform and 12 million POS/ATM clearing transactions processed daily by a single acquirer.
OpenWay, known for its commitment to long-term relationships, both serves customers locally and provides global support. Today our team unites approximately 500 payment business, digital technology, and security professionals.