Kenya’s Airtel sticks to its case against Safaricom

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kenyan operator Airtel has pledged to continue its case against larger rival Safaricom over what it charges for access to its M-Pesa mobile money transfer service, said Business Daily.

Airtel is maintaining its position despite Safaricom’s recent decision to open up its extensive network of M-Pesa agents to rivals, a move that could ease the market position of rivals.

Despite the concession, the smaller competitor will press ahead with the case before the country’s anti-trust regulator, the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

It believes Safaricom treats users from rival mobile money services as “unregistered” on its M-Pesa service, which means it can charge them up to double the cost of its own users.

“The case will continue because at the moment there is a very huge price difference on what Safaricom charges its subscribers for sending money to rivals, this and the large network effect makes it impossible for consumers to send money outside the network,” said Adil El Youssefi, Airtel Kenya managing director.

Last week, Safaricom opened its network of M-Pesa agents, meaning subscribers to rival money services such as those offered by Airtel, Orange and yuMobile will be able to pay in and collect cash from M-Pesa agents

Source: Mobile World Live (link opens in a new window)

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banking, Base of the Pyramid, financial inclusion, financial services, mobile money