Kenya: Banks’ Mobile Cash Plan Fails to Take Off Yet Again
Two missed deadlines and uncertainty on when local banks will roll out their interbank switch allowing direct money transfer through mobile phones across the industry now dampen the prospects of the entire plan.
The move to establish the Real Time Interbank Switch, which has already fallen five months behind schedule, now stands on a shaky ground after a second roll-out timeline elapsed without a word from banks.
A number of lenders have been going through financial turmoil and have consequently been entering into partnerships with telcos while some have since set up their own mobile networks. These developments have thrown cold water on the Sh700 million joint initiative first mooted in 2012.
Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), which is spearheading the plan that was set to go live in November 2015, denies it has been shelved.KBA Chief Executive Habil Olaka who had given April as the new date for the system to start operating declined this time to give any possible roll-out timelines only maintaining that the plan is “on course”‘