Kenya mobiles step up rivalry
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenya’s lucrative mobile money transfer market is set for unprecedented competition following the entry of three additional telecoms operators with intention to have a piece of the sector’s billion shillings pie.
Licensed by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) last month the three Mobile Virtual Network Operators, led by Equity Bank’s subsidiary – Finserve Africa Limited, and also Zioncell Kenya Limited an affiliate of Mobile Decisioning—a company that provides a range of mobile payment services as well as Mobile Pay Limited which owns mobile money transfer platform Tangaza Pesa, are expected to launch a fierce battle for the fast expanding sector with innovative products.
The firms will ride on communications infrastructure networks of existing Mobile Network Operators to provide cellular mobile services to end users including customer registration, SIM cards issuance, billing and customer care.
The three newly licenced operators will be hosted on the Airtel Network.
But while they will be offering other core services, it is the Kenyan mobile money transfer service segment which has continued to record steady growth in the last few years that is understood to be a huge magnet for these operators.
CAK statistics show that money transmitted through mobile money transfer services last year hit a staggering Ksh2 trillion ($22 billion).
In light of this, according to the second quarterly sector statistics report for the year 2013-14 released by the Authority, the number of mobile money transfer subscriptions grew by 3.6 per cent from 25.1 million subscriptions registered in the last quarter to 26 million subscribers.