Kenyan Banks Are Closing in on What They Think Will Be the Perfect M-Pesa Disruptor
Early next year, Kenyan banks are expected to unveil a digital and mobile money transfer platform to rival M-Pesa’s longstanding dominance as the scramble for cashless payments intensifies.
The plan started about four years ago when banks, in a rare display of unity, discussed establishing a system that would allow mobile phone subscribers to send or transfer money within banks without having to rely on the network operators. At present, banks depend on the mobile money transaction platforms such as M-Pesa, Airtel Money or Orange Money to allow their customers to make an assortment of transactions such as transferring, depositing, withdrawing, borrowing money or settling bills in real time.
Safaricom alone works with over 40 banks, serving over 3.1 million customers on a monthly basis through M-Pesa. However, the telco’s director of corporate affairs, Steve Chege says Safaricom already operates in a highly competitive environment with both international and local players. So, the potential for mobile and digital payments is still enormous for new entrants. “We believe they are launching more digitized services in order to meet the changing needs of their customers,” Chege tells Quartz.