CBK proposals likely to end M-Pesa dominance

Friday, October 11, 2013

SAFARICOM’S Mpesa platform may soon be open for use by other mobile payment services providers if new regulations published by the Central Bank are effected.

This could end the mobile company’s dominance of the mobile money market which has locked many subscribers to its network.

The CBK has published the National Payment System Draft Regulations that among others recommend that E-money issuers shall utilise open systems capable of becoming interoperable with other payment systems in the country and internationally. The same shall apply to electronic retail transfers.

“E-money issuers are encouraged to enter into interoperable arrangements ,” reads part of the regulation. This will come as a relief to the three other mobile phone companies in the country who have been pushing for this kind of arrangement. Safaricom has however opposed it in the past arguing that it will kill innovation and slow down the systems.

The operator declined to comment on the proposed regulations arguing this would be premature. “Nevertheless all stakeholders including ourselves are keen to support the CBKs initiative to strengthen the e-payments policy environment,” the firm said in a brief statement.

Source: The Star (link opens in a new window)