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During the recent tabling of Equity Bank Group Financial Year 2017 report, the CEO, Dr. James Mwangi, said the bank will by mid-2018 letting artificial intelligence (AI) fully handle their lending services. This development comes as part of a bigger digitization drive of the bank’s operations.

Already, up to 96% of the bank’s transactions happened outside its branches. Primarily through the MVNO Equitel, which is said to handle up 54% of these out-of-the-bank transactions. Then followed by the Eazzy Banking App, which handles 20% and the Agency Banking handling 14%.

It is interesting to note that Eazzy Banking App was launched barely two years ago, and has grown from zero to becoming the second most popular digital platform for Equity Bank’s customers. The app only goes to shows how customers appreciate the convenience of digital banking. Also, the bank shows 94% of their loans are now being dispensed via digital platforms.

During the tabling of the FY 2017 report, Dr. Mwangi further revealed that the Group is planning to fully digitize their operations by June 2018. That will mean all banking services at Equity Bank will be online via FinTech solutions. The bank will further integrate artificial intelligence (AI) at the center of the system, which will take care of all the loan applications from customers.

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence will now be managing Equity Bank

The bank has been harvesting data about its customers’ income, expenditure, and savings habits. All these information as part of the bank’s Big Data will then be analyzed and fed to an AI system. So when a customer wishes to apply for a loan, there will be no longer be any need to visit their nearest branch. They will instead take out their phone or log into their computer and ask for the loan online.

The AI will then take it from there, and using analytics; the customer will in a fraction of a second know whether they can get the loan or not. Note, that part of the Big Data the bank has on its customers include social media usage, data from other bureaus and lending bodies among others.

That said, it is fair to say, the bank will soon (if it hasn’t already) start dealing with customer privacy concerns. You will probably start asking yourself if the Eazzy Banking app on your smartphone is checking your SMS, emails, WhatsApp chats… just to see if you are a flight risk with the bank’s money or not.

And in other news….

James Mwangi stewardship of Equity Bank Group has seen him shortlisted for Africa CEO Award

James Mwangi, the CEO of Equity Bank Group, is one of the seven candidates shortlisted for the 2018’s Africa CEO Forum awards.

Other corporate leaders going up against Dr. Mwangi for the award

Candidate

Organization

Jim Ovia Zenith Bank
Mahamed El-Kettani Attijariwafa Bank
Strive Masiyiwa Econet Group
Abdulsamad Rabiu BUA Group
Nadia Fettah Saham Finances
Boss ate Kanyi Telcar Cocoa

 

The seven leaders were recognized for their strategies and performances that made a positive impact on Africa’s growth.

The 2018 edition of the award has been organized by Jeune Afrique Media Group and co-hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

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