Safaricom launches cross-merchant mobile money system
Safaricom customers will be able to transact with merchants using a Pay Bill solution and also via the Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya networks.
This opens up opportunities for merchants because customers will not be limited by their networks and thereby boost the adoption and convenience of making cashless payments, Safaricom stated.
Boniface Mungania, Tribe Lead and M-Pesa Payments, Safaricom, said, “Kenya now ranks third in Africa after South Africa and Seychelles in terms of access to financial services, in line with our goal to deepen financial inclusion in the region.”
“This innovation extends even more convenience to customers and businesses, transforming M-Pesa into a one-stop solution to send and receive money and payment from any financial services.”
Julius Cheptiony, Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer at Telkom Kenya said this move brings the ecosystem closer to realising a cashless economy.
The step is part of a phased interoperability journey among the three telecommunications firms. The next phase will see M-Pesa users send money to Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya pay bill counters.
Ashish Malhotra, CEO of Airtel Kenya said that the interoperability will give mobile money users options.
According to the National Payment Strategy 2022 – 2025, the uptake of mobile money services in the country has seen a great rise and cross-network payments are set to unlock new levels.
The report added, “This trend is expected to continue increasing once initiatives such as interoperability are fully rolled out, allowing customers to seamlessly transact across the ecosystem irrespective of their provider.”
According to the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) quarterly report for 2021/2022 ending 31 March 2022, shows a 6% in consumer to business payments where the pay bill and till numbers fall.
There was a total of Kshs 1.38-trillion compared to Kshs 1.30-trillion in the previous quarter.