Safaricom Won’t Let Rivals Share M-Pesa
Friday, July 31, 2015
Safaricom has maintained it will not allow its mobile money platform, M-Pesa, to be spun off from the parent company, citing security risks for subscribers due to lack of clear guidelines and standards on cross-network cash transfers.
Fair Competition and Equality of Treatment, 2015 regulations contained in the Communications Act—yet to be tabled in parliament—require Safaricom to manage separate books of accounts for each of its services such as M-Pesa, voice and data as well as infrastructure because it is considered a dominant player that is abusing the market on the segments.
The mobile operator yesterday told the Senate Committee on ICT that mobile money interoperability is yet to achieve scale because of lack of a common national and global infrastructure, compounded by poor implementation standards.
These factors, Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore said, could result to high implementation costs for operators, escalate risks associated with customer fraud and increase blacklisting for subscribers.
“We are not against mobile money interoperability, but lack of proper guidelines could expose us to risks. Policy on the model is half-baked and could potentially lead to loss of money through fraud,” he said. Mobile money interoperability is driven by Kenya Bankers Association and Central Bank of Kenya.