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Equity banks on free cards to cut cost of deposits

 Tellers at a Nakumatt outlet in Nairobi. Equity Bank has signed a deal with MasterCard allowing its customers to make purchases using cards. Photo/File
Tellers at a Nakumatt outlet in Nairobi. Equity Bank has signed a deal with MasterCard allowing its customers to make purchases using cards. Photo/File 

Equity Bank has stepped up the battle for customers who use plastic cards to buy goods and services after introducing a technology which enables cashless buying by placing mobile phones or cards in close proximity to a point-of-sale terminal without actual contact.

The first five million account holders to apply for the cards will get them free of charge.

Those who use the cards to make transactions will not be charged any fees, with the bank hoping to benefit from having a constant deposit base.

“Because there is no actual withdrawal of funds, the savings fund becomes constant almost like a fixed deposit,” said James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Bank at a briefing Tuesday.

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