Touted as the most helpful mobile banking service in Kenya, Equitel comes with a myriad of awesome phone, financial and web services. The platform belongs to the Equity Bank’s subsidiary, Finserve Africa Ltd (mobile virtual network operator), and runs on Airtel (mobile phone service provider).
But What Exactly is Equitel?
Equitel is a mobile banking service which allows customers to access phone, banking and internet services. The phone services include voice, SMSs, data, etc., while the banking services include money transfer (by phone), loans, insurance, investments and more. Some of the web services include maternal health content, financial literacy and wings to fly learning.
How Equitel Works
The mobile banking platform is based on the new SIM Card Technology. The service provider offers both the normal SIM card and the thin SIM card which turns your single-SIM phone into a dual-SIM one.
The SIM cards are available to all customers of Equity Bank. The normal card is available for free, but the slim one comes at an affordable fee. If you are not a customer of the bank, you can open an account with them and enjoy the service.
As of August 2015, the SIM cards had two mobile number prefixes – 0763 and 0764. The former is already used up and the latter will not take long before it gets exhausted. Yeah, the service is in high demand.
You need to activate your new line to start enjoying the mobile and banking services. You can visit your nearest Equity branch or agent to register your line first. After this, you will need to update your SIM toolkit to access more services.
To update the toolkit, dial *247# to activate your line, enter your PIN and select Link Equitel. You will receive this message “Link Equitel to Mobile Banking was successful” and an activation code. You then need to open your Equitel SIM Tool Kit (STK), enter the code and reset your PIN. If you get this message, “Dear customer your mobile banking application has been activated”, then you are good to go.
How to Use Equitel
If you have already used another mobile money service like M-Pesa, Orange Money, Yu Cash, Airtel Money or T-kash, you will not have any major difficulties using Equitel. The mobile money menu is just like the ones found on these existing mobile money platforms.
The menu is available in English or Kiswahili and is well detailed, which means that most people can use the service. From calling other numbers and accessing the internet to applying for loans and stopping cheques, you can use this service to execute a wide range of mobile, web and banking tasks. This subtopic is expanded below.
Equitel services are many and are categorized into three – Money, Phone and Life. The services are designed to help manage your money better, communicate with more freedom and browse the internet for cheap.
With the money tools, you carry out your financial transactions more efficiently. You can access your bank accounts from anywhere, anytime. You can also save for your future plans and goals with this tool. The services under Money are as follows and can also be accessed through the Eazzy Banking app.
- Send money to another line
- Send money to a bank account
- Withdraw money
- Pay bills
- Pay for goods and services with Eazzy Pay
- Buy airtime for Equitel and other networks
- Save money on your account
- Get an Eazzy loan
- Check mini-statement
- Check bank balances
- Register pesa link
- Stop a card or cheque*
- Request a cheque book*
Phone (Calls, SMS and Data)
With this service, you can change your mobile phone experience for the better. The following are the services under Phone:
- Make voice calls (locally and internationally)
- Send SMS (locally and internationally)
- Make and receive calls while abroad
- Send and receive SMS while abroad
- Check your airtime balance
- Buy and check data bundles
- Use data to access the mobile internet
- Use data while abroad (available upon request, in selected countries)
- Top up airtime on your Equitel line or any other phone including other networks
- Contact customer care
- Choose tariff plan
Life (Internet and Content)
This tool allows you get access to useful and informative content on your phone. You can enjoy entertaining digital content, boost the quality of your life and enhance your experience. The categories include agriculture, education and learning, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and jobs, grow your money, news and entertainment and healthy living. Some specific services include:
- Maternal health content – Personalized information for expectant and new mums.
- Financial literacy – Learn how to manage your money and attain financial freedom.
- Wikipedia – Access Wikipedia content for free.
- Wings to fly learning – High school students can access free learning materials.
- Facebook – Dial *769# and connect with your friends and family.
Equitel is cheaper than other mobile and banking services in Kenya. The charges keep on changing, which means that you can pay more or less at certain times. Some mobile money platforms like M-Pesa are imposing fines to the users of this platform, so you may pay higher when using this service together with other mobile money services.
Equitel Charges for Mobile Services
- Buy airtime – No charges
- Check account balance – No charges
- Change PIN – No charges
- Purchase data bundles – No charges
- Call – Kshs. 2/minute to Equitel
- SMS – KShs.1/minute (all networks)
- Call – Kshs. 4/minute to other networks
- Call – KShs. 4/minute within East Africa
On how to top up or load airtime, follow this path – SIM Tool Kit and Choose Airtel > My Phone or My Money > Buy Airtime/Bundles.
To top up from your bank account, click – Buy Airtime > For This Line > Enter amount > Confirm.
Equitel Charges for Banking Services
- Send money to your own Equity account – No charges.
- Send money to other Equity accounts – 1 percent of the transaction value, maximum of Kshs.25.
- Pay bill/pay for goods and services – 1 percent of the transaction value, maximum of KShs.25.
- Send money to non-registered phone numbers – 1 percent of the transaction value, maximum of KShs.25.
- Send money to other mobile money accounts – 1 percent of the transaction value, maximum of KShs.25 + KShs.10 termination fee.
- Withdraw money from Equitel agent, ATM or branch – Normal Equity bank withdrawal fees which depend on the transaction and channel used.
- Send money to other banks – 1 percent of the transaction value, maximum of KShs.25 + KShs.10 termination fee.
- Pay Eazzy Loan – 2 percent per month interest rate.
Note: These charges change with time, so you may incur a higher or lower cost.
Charges for Equitel Data or Internet (Weekly)
- 5MB for KShs.6
- 20MB for KShs.24
- 50MB for KShs.60
- 100MB for KShs.110
- 500MB for KShs.500
- 1.5GB for KShs.1000
- 3GB for KShs.1999
- 8GB for KShs.3999
- 10GB for KShs. 7999
Note: There are also other data plans like data plus bundles, jipimie bundles and ongea bundles.
Equitel Internet Settings
You can have the internet settings once your SIM is activated. You will receive the settings and instructions in the form of an SMS. If you don’t have the settings after activation, you can request them by sending the word “ALL” on your Equitel line to 232. Alternatively, you can configure the settings manually. Remember: Your device should be internet-enabled to receive the settings.
Manual Internet Setting
To configure the internet settings manually, Go to “Settings” in your mobile device and select “Access Point Name” under “Mobile Networks” then “New APN” (click on the circle with a plus sign). Enter the settings as detailed below and restart your device.
- Name: Equitel Internet.
- APN: EQUITEL
- APN type: Default, Supl
- Proxy: Leave it blank (not set)
- Port: Leave it blank (not set)
- Username: Leave it blank (not set)
- Password: Leave it blank (not set)
- Server: Leave it blank (not set)
- MMSC: Leave it blank (not set)
- MMS proxy: Leave blank (not set)
- MMS port: Leave blank (not set)
- MCC: 639
- MNC: 03
- APN protocol: IPv4
- APN roaming protocol: IPv4
- Authentication type: None
- APN enable/disable: APN enabled
- Bearer: Unspecified
- MVNO type: None
- MVNO value: Leave it blank (not set)
(Save, select the circle next to the new APN and restart your phone)
On how to activate data bundles (using airtime), Dial *100# or Go to SIM Tool Kit> Airtel> My Phone> Equitel Self Service> Buy data bundles.
You can also follow the following path to buy from your bank account – SIM Tool Kit and Choose Airtel > My Phone or My Money > Buy Airtime/Bundles.
You can also buy from your bank account, click – Buy Bundles > For This Line > Enter PIN > Select Bundles > Confirm.
On how to activate internet (buy data) online, visit the site using the service internet and choose data bundles. When performing this task, you will need to have airtime as you will be using it to connect to the internet – charged at KShs. 2 per minute.
Equitel is designed to allow more Kenyans access banking services. The new innovation is expected to raise the number of Kenyans accessing banking services from 53 to 90 percent. As mentioned earlier, the platform is expected to improve efficiency in mobile communication and financial management. Yeah, it is all about Freedom, Choice and Control.
For customer care, you can always call 100 on your Equitel line.
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