Equity Bank and the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) in Kenya
This case study describes Equity Bank's experience with the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) in Kenya. Financial Sector Deepening, Kenya (FSD Kenya), and other donors funded the HSNP, a pilot project that aimed to distribute cash payments to 60,000 beneficiaries in the most remote parts of northern Kenya. The case study describes the selection of Equity Bank by the bid panel, technology used by Equity, government regulation, and Equity’s experience with relation to HSNP. It states that:
- Equity’s payment system in HSNP was effective and efficient;
- HSNP adoption by new bank branches has caused a focus on cost reduction and prepared the branches for a full scale program without the need for any supplementary program staff;
- Equity’s payment system has proven transparent and easily audited;
- Equity could capitalize its investment by selling its distribution network to other service providers;
- Problems included mobility of beneficiaries in their quest for survival, ethnic differences among people, long distances between villages, and the issue of safety.
The study concludes by highlighting Equity Bank’s confidence and optimism in its technology, services, training materials for agents, and in its own efficiency.