Kenya won’t force a spin-off of the world’s leading mobile money service after all

Monday, February 26, 2018

Almost exactly a year ago, a report from an independent consultant to Kenya’s telecoms regulator, sparked uproar and panic. It recommended the government look into breaking up the dominant mobile operator Safaricom by spinning off the even more dominant mobile money service, M-Pesa.

Now, the global consulting firm that made that controversial recommendation seems to have changed its mind and it’s not entirely clear why.

The UK-based Analysys Mason (AM) was contracted in 2016 by the Kenyan regulator, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), to analyze the competitive nature of the local telecommunications market. After collecting data, conducting a technical assessment, reviewing legislation, and meeting industry stakeholders, the firm recommended in leaked findings last year that the dominant operator’s voice and data services be split from its mobile money platform M-Pesa. To ensure fairness, AM also recommended the implementation of mobile money interoperability across networks by the end of 2017.

Photo courtesy of Simon Berry.

Source: Quartz Africa (link opens in a new window)

digital payments, fintech, mobile finance