This was a slogan from a very popular tagline by Equity Bank a few years back.
The line was however corrupted by many Kenyans to “mimi ni meeba”(Pronounced as Meh-ba), as a way of poking fun at Gikuyus who, at the time, were believed to be the only Equity customers. Mother tongue interference affects most of us from Central Province. The elos, aras, sh, ch and where to apply the Ms and Ns is something we have reconciled our fate with.
That tagline however, stuck with me due to the hugely successful campaign by the bank which sought to clarify that Equity bank’s customer base was nationwide.
Equity was able to shed that previous image and transition from a building society with its humble beginnings to a Kenyan bank that was disrupting everything we had believed banking to be.
My first bank account was with Family Bank though I barely run it for a year. I relocated to Nyeri town within a few months and they didn’t have a branch there. My next main account was with co-operative bank which I have used ever since. Ours has been a love hate relationship over a period of over 10 years. We are not pals. They don’t care if I have a birthday or not and in most cases when I need something out of the usual, I have to walk to a branch. Last year I decided to try out Chase Bank mostly for my online transactions. Following what befell the bank earlier this year, I haven’t tried out their services again.
Everyone of us has been conditioned to understand banking as a serious affair that requires you to:-
- Walk into a bank branch for major transactions, services or for loans
- Queue for hours (fortunately this has changed for some banks with the introduction of the ticketing system)
- Switch off your phone/ not answer your phone when in the banking hall (I have never understood this part. Kwani who might I call)
- Be earning a salary to open a bank account (this used to be the case for most banks)
- Observe certain times (opening & closing hours). God only knows how much I detest this particular one.
There was a time banking was for the elite. If you didn’t have a collar job earning over KES 20,000 monthly, then yours was a mattress account or a mobile money one. The reason why Equity bank quickly resonated with a majority of Kenyans was because it disrupted this whole notion that banking is an elitist affair. Regardless of which bank you are with, we can all thank them for disrupting this space and setting a new standard for banks to operate under.
Times are changing and our behaviors as customers are also changing. Digital technology has taken over our lives and our mobile phones have become an integral part of it.
A few days ago, Equity bank launched #EazzyBanking; a range of digital products accessible via a data enabled phone in a bid to offer more convenience to their customers. The tagline – ‘Banking is something you do and not somewhere you go‘ underscores their current strategy.
I live most of my life virtually and so I have always viewed banking as a necessary inconvenience especially when I need activation of some service which more often than not, require me to visit my bank branch. That tagline really spoke to me. I suddenly realized that banking no longer needs to be an inconvenience, something I have to go out of my way to do.
New Products under Eazzybanking
EazzyBanking enables you access various services such as basic banking services via the EazzyApp – a mobile app, EazzyPay – a mobile wallet, EazzyChama – an online management interface for Joint account holders and investment groups and EazzyLoan for access to instant loans of upto KES. 3 Million. To get more information on these services, visit their website.
As Dr. Mwangi aptly put it during the launch of this new strategy, the age of bank branches is coming to an end, digital technology is the next frontier.
Africa is at the forefront in mobile technology usage. Instead of waiting to be disrupted by others, Equity chose to disrupt itself instead.