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Home Business Central Bank of Kenya Policies Threaten Safaricom’s Mobile Money Dominance

Central Bank of Kenya Policies Threaten Safaricom’s Mobile Money Dominance

by Caroline Vutagwa
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mobile-money

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) wants new mobile money policies to be put together, this policies could crush Safaricom’s command in the mobile money market.

This regulation is set to force the leading mobile network provider, Safaricom, to open up its mobile money offering M-Pesa to other payment service providers is on the cards in Kenya.

Safaricom launched the M-Pesa mobile money system in Kenya in 2007 and ever since the service has grown to making approximately half trillion transactions by the end of June 2012,

The growth of this service has even prompted financial institutions to launch mobile money systems in Kenya as well as cause other networks embark on the mobile money venture.

Safaricom has 70 percent command in the mobile money market which is said to be shutting out other players as well as hurting the consumers due to the lack of interoperability among the money systems in the country.

For this reason CBK has recommended that, as part of its ‘National Payment System Draft Regulations’, all electronic-money issuers in the country should use open systems capable of becoming interoperable both locally and internationally.

“E-money issuers are encouraged to enter into interoperable arrangements ,” reads the CBK’s recommended regulation.

Safaricom has shown opposition to similar calls in the past but this ti,e no report of any comment from Safaricom regarding the new regulation.

“All stakeholders including ourselves are keen to support the CBKs initiative to strengthen the e-payments policy environment,” Safaricom has said in a statement.

The public has until October 18 to make their recommendations regarding the proposed regulations.

Its about time there is equity in the mobile money market, Safaricom should start experiencing fair competition. However will this have an impact in the mobile money market returns?  How will the consumers  get to benefit? and will it affect the quality of service that Safaricom has given because frankly Mpesa has the minimal service errors.

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