Safaricom has opened its agent network to its rivals among them Airtel that has been agitating for integration of mobile money services so as to allow for fair competition among players in the industry.
Basically, agents will now be able to offer services for the popular M-Pesa alongside those of Orange Money and Airtel money, meaning that more commissions will come their way.
Safaricom had declined to the move before citing the fact that they had invested a lot in their agent network over the years and opening up their network was unfair to them.
Confirming these latest developments Safaricom Corporate affairs director Nzioka Waita said: “We made a strategic decision in February 2014 to remove all exclusivity provisions in our M-Pesa agent contracts,” Safaricom corporate affairs director Nzioka Waita said in a statement.
“All our 85,000 M-Pesa agents are, therefore, free to engage with whomever they please; this will include other mobile money service providers.”
Since inception, M-Pesa has been quite popular and the company and as at now the other telcos can not measure up to them when it comes to agents and this has made Airtel lodge a complaint with the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) in 2012, seeking the body to have Safaricom to open up its agent network.
“This was a commercial decision and not one that was forced upon us by any regulatory authority. We are confident that this decision will not negatively impact our business in any way that we cannot comfortably mitigate,” Mr. Waita said.