Safaricom softens stance on opening up M-Pesa

Monday, June 9, 2014

Kenya’s largest mobile phone company Safaricom has softened its position on opening up its mobile money system M-Pesa to rivals.

This comes days before an expected ruling by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) that could force the network operator to open its agency network and even allow for interoperability of M-Pesa with other mobile money systems.

Safaricom, which has long been resisting attempts by rival networks such as Airtel to open up its M-Pesa system, has said it is preparing for any outcome from the CAK.

“Due to the growing pervasiveness of mobile money platforms globally, it is now necessary to pursue a standards-led discussion on interoperability,” Nzioka Waita, the director of corporate affairs at Safaricom, has been quoted by reports.

However, Safaricom says rules regarding mobile money interoperability need to be implemented, while a revenue sharing model among telecom providers must also be conceptualised.

The CAK plans to deliver its ruling at the end of June after Airtel Kenya filed a petition against Safaricom over its alleged ‘unfair dominance’ in the mobile money market.

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

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financial inclusion, financial innovation, mobile money, social development