Banking with Equity Bank Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania

Pleasant Experiences with Equity Bank Uganda

Mid-last year, I found myself in Kampala, Uganda for a stay that ended up being much longer than planned.

While I was there, someone very dear to me asked me to borrow a big sum of money urgently.

I don’t usually lend money, especially in big sums. As I said, though, this person was very dear to me, so I had to come through for my girl.

My big question, though, was how would I get the amount I needed from my Equity Bank Tanzania account to Uganda quickly and cheaply.

This might not sound like much of an issue if you live in some parts of the world. In East Africa, though, and especially in Tanzania, this is a question without an obvious answer.

I decided I’d go to Equity Bank Uganda and see if they might have a solution for me.

Equity Bank Oasis Mall

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This was not the first time I was doing something of the sort.

I, therefore, had an inkling of what Equity Bank Uganda would tell me.

As they did the last time, I expected they would advise me to transfer money from my Equity Bank Tanzania account into one at Equity Bank Uganda.

This is what they’d told me to do two years before.

Sadly, though, I recall having to spend several hours at the bank making it happen that time.

It’s not what I hoped they’d tell me, but it would be better than nothing.

Equity Bank Uganda Provides Me an Unexpected Solution

When I got to Equity Bank at Oasis Mall, I headed over to the customer service desk.

I explained my predicament to the person I found there. The woman at the counter told me that it would be no problem at all. She said all I’d have to do was withdraw at the counter just as I would at any Equity Bank Tanzania branch.

Huh? Had she truly understood what I had told her?

Still, I went ahead and did as she said.

I made my way to the counter. Hesitantly, I told the bank teller that I held an account at Equity Bank Tanzania. I gave him my account number and told him the amount I wanted to withdraw.

He instructed me to put my finger on the fingerprint scanner and with no further ado, I had the money I’d come to get.

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Equity Bank Charges to Withdraw Over the Counter at a Foreign Equity Bank Branch (More than US$600)

How much did Equity Bank charge me for this over-the-counter withdrawal in another country? Only 1% of the amount I was withdrawing.

How long did it take me to do this? About 30 minutes. And that’s only because there were many other people at the bank that day.

An Experience with Equity Bank in Rwanda

Fast forward another month.

This time I was in Kigali, Rwanda.

Because of the experience from the month before, I had stopped withdrawing money at ATMs in Kampala.

Instead,  I would just make over-the-counter withdrawals at Equity Bank Uganda because it was cheaper.

Before I traveled from Uganda to Rwanda, therefore, I withdrew money to cover the expenses for my trip.

With money in hand, I headed off confidently to Kigali.

One day, while staying at a friend’s place in Kigali, I left my purse in the sitting room and went to take a shower before heading out to experience Kigali by night.

Not being a suspicious person by nature, it completely slipped my mind that this meant her domestic worker would have full access to the contents of my purse while I showered and dressed up.

Sadly, yes, he stole from me.

This of course meant that I would have to get more money urgently if I intended to continue my trip as planned.

While brainstorming how to do that, I recalled having seen an Equity Bank branch as I whizzed through Remera on a motorcycle taxi one day.

Maybe, just maybe, I would be able to withdraw money there as easily as I had at Equity Bank Uganda.

I thought I’d give it a try.

Would My Luck Be the Same at Equity Bank Rwanda?

I walked into the Equity Bank Remera branch half expecting that I wouldn’t be successful. At the very least, even if I might, I though it would be complicated.

Much to my delight, the customer service rep simply directed me to the corporate section at the back of the branch, and with an account number and a fingerprint scan, just like at Equity Bank Uganda, I was able to withdraw the money I needed in a few minutes.

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Equity Bank Charges to Withdraw Over the Counter at a Foreign Equity Bank Branch (Less than US$600)

How much did that cost me? US$6 to withdraw a couple of hundred bucks.

And that’s when I decided I’d write this post.

I’ll tell you one more story and then I promise I’ll stop.

Cheap Inter-Country Money Transfer in Minutes from Equity Bank Mwenge

Last month, again a loved one asked me to borrow a hefty sum in preparation for the holiday season.

She asked for this money in Tanzania but needed to get it to Uganda ASAP to make a payment there.

I had no problem lending her the money—I knew she was good for it. She seemed a little concerned, though, about how she would get that money to Uganda as fast as required.

Coincidentally, ‘my girl’ who I mentioned earlier in this post, had since also become a happy customer of Equity Bank Uganda.

When ‘my loved one’ shared her problem with me, I offered to send the money over to ‘my girl’ since we were both account holders at Equity Bank, and ‘my girl’ would then make sure the money got into the hands of the person it needed to get to in Uganda.

I was confident it would be fast and cheap.

I guess I just didn’t realize to what extent.

And so one day, right before the end of the work day, I headed over to Equity Bank Tanzania to transfer the money.

It was way past 3 p.m., so  I knew the bank would only process the transfer the following day.

Still, as I left the bank I gave ‘my girl’ a quick heads up on Whatsapp. I told her that I’d sent the money and then began to drive the short distance home.

Equity Bank Surprises Me Again

Before I got home, I received a message on my phone. It was from the bank telling me that the money had been debited from my account. I passed the information on to ‘my girl’. I then ran a quick errand on my way home.

While I was still  running my errand, ‘my girl’ wrote to me to tell me that she too had just received a message from her bank telling her that the money had been credited to her account.

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Wow! We were both amazed and took a moment to marvel at how great our bank was.

Why Am I Telling You This?

I’m telling you this because it’s been a LONG time since I’ve been this happy with a bank.

I love the ease and convenience that Equity Bank offers me wherever I am in East Africa.

Although ease and convenience often come with a hefty price tag, this hasn’t been my experience with Equity Bank at all! (And I am not the only one who thinks this. For several years, Equity Bank consistently won the Think Business Award for Bank with the Lowest Charge.)

Equity Bank Branches Dar es Salaam - Agency Banking
Equity Bank Branches Dar es Salaam: Even where there are no Equity Bank Branches or ATMS, there are often Equity Bank Agents through whom you can fulfill your banking needs

I love the fact that I pay NO monthly charges no matter what currency I am banking in.

As long as I don’t perform any banking transactions, my bank balance stays as is. But even when I do transact, Equity Bank charges me prices commensurate to the service they provide me.

Ok, I said I would stop gushing.

Parting Thoughts

Allow me to end this post with two statements.

1. I am extremely happy to be one of the more than 9.2 million customers that make Equity Bank the largest commercial bank on the African continent (by customer numbers); and

2. It’s no wonder to me that Equity Bank won the “Africa’s Best Bank Award” during the 2016 Euromoney Awards for Excellence.

Eazzy Banking App
Equity Bank Branches Dar es Salaam: Even where you can’t get to an Equity Bank branch, the mobile app is quite powerful!

But yeah, I said I would stop gushing.

Until the next time,

P.S. This post was NOT sponsored by Equity Bank (but…you can go here to know how you can sponsor a post on this blog to publicize your product, service, establishment, or event).

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Photo Credits: foursquare.comFSDTanzania

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