Kenya: Relaxed Rules Have Helped in Mobile Agent Recruitment – Airtel
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Lifting of restrictions on mobile money agents has helped Airtel Kenya recruit more merchants as it bids to take convenience closer to customers, according to chief executive Adil Youssefi.
Airtel is the second largest telecom in the country and has previously pushed hard to have mobile money agents allowed to offer services of rivals.
The restrictions, which were mostly enforced for Safaricom’s M-Pesa agents, were lifted at around August last year. Currently, agents can sign up with rival telcos and banks to offer their services in the same shop.
“This was good move for the customer and retailers alike, improving convenience through the removal of duplication and ease of transactions at one point of sale. It will enable business to grow while customers enjoy the convenience,” Youssefi told the Star on email.
Airtel did not give the absolute number of its agent network. Data from the Communications Authority shows the telco had 12,438 active agents at the end of September 2014.
Safaricom had 80,330 agents, while Telkom Orange had 12,137 and Mobikash had 9,799 merchants. Essar Telecom, whose subscribers and money agents have been since taken over by Airtel, had 234 agents in June.