Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital financial services have continued to accelerate commercial growth as indicated in the recently released financial results of East Africa’s financial and telco companies.

In its Q3 financial results, Equity bank announced that physical branch networks and ATMs, now account for only 3% of the bank’s transactions. The bank indicated that about 945 million transactions were carried out on mobile devices or on 3rd party infrastructure.

Safaricom also announced a 42% growth in transactions volume to Ksh. 7.3 billion as it released its financial results for the period ending 30th September, 2021. This growth was partly attributed to the growth in the bank to mobile transactions as people were encouraged to avoid handling cash and other physical payment methods as part of the Covid-19 containment measures.

Safaricom is also attributed growth in its mobile money services to innovations in the financial sector.

Speaking at the investors briefing earlier this month, Equity Group CEO Dr. James Mwangi said, “ Equity is on a journey to transform itself into a digital business. The power that a branch manager used to enjoy of deciding when a customer gets service and what service they get has been shifted to the customer. They have ultimately won the freedom of managing their own money.”

The lender is already positioning its network of 190 branches into centres of excellence focusing on customer experiences, providing advisory and consultation services for SMEs and large customers.

This developments emphasize the need for financial institutions to invest in their systems strengthening processes to ensure that these critical back-end systems do not fail.