Cross-Network Mobile Money Transfer Could Reach Kenyans Sooner Than we Thought

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Mobile money interoperability in Kenya is coming in the next three months. According to Business Daily, an agreement was reached on Thursday (4th May, 2017) that would see mobile money users make cross-network transfers at no additional cost in Kenya.

“It means that someone on Airtel Money is able to send money to somebody on M-Pesa and the money goes straight to the recipient’s wallet and can be used for transactions,” said ICT Secretary, Joe Mucheru.

The call for interoperability has been echoed among all other mobile money services and it is good news that Safaricom has finally given in. This follows the drama that ensued when a report recommended that M-Pesa be broken off from Safaricom to reduce the company’s dominance, a recommendation that the company did not like that much.

Business Daily reports that the agreement between the operators may be seen as a way of preempting the enforcement of regulator-led interoperability. Mr. Joe Mucheru also said “the regulator can come in later but not necessarily be the one forcing interoperability. Our intention is to have the market come together and agree so that they can all grow.”

The service will undergo a six-month trial period after which we could see the service roll-out to the general public.  This could be the break Telcos such as Airtel and Telkom Kenya have been waiting for.

Here’s to hoping that everything goes well, for the sake of us all.

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