Following a successful pilot interoperability in over a two-month period, Mobile phone users will from Tuesday be able to transfer and receive money across Safaricom and Airtel networks.
This is according to Business Daily. Telkom, which relaunched its cash transfer service under the T-Kash brand, will join Safaricom and Airtel later.
The mobile money interoperability move will allow users to transfer money across networks with a long-term objective of ensuring enhanced service provision for this platform-mediated network business.
This simply means that one will be able to send money from their M-Pesa account to an Airtel Money user, who will receive the money in their mobile wallet and withdraw it from an Airtel Money agent.
This will also be a change from the current situation where a text message alerts the recipient of such money to collect it from an agent registered with the sender’s network.
Telecom firms have been negotiating interoperability for almost a year, and it is expected to be part of the solution to concerns over Safaricom’s dominance.
According to Communication Authority sector statistics for the first quarter of 2107/2018, the number of active mobile money transfer subscriptions and registered agents stood at 28.1 million and 184,537, respectively,
M-Pesa services posted a market share of 80.8 per cent during the quarter under review while Equitel Money boasted a market share of 6.8 per cent, Mobikash stood at 6.3 per cent. Airtel Money and Mobile Pay Limited attained 5.8 and 0.3 per cent market shares, respectively during the period.
Safaricom also accounts for 67 per cent of all the mobile money agents and about 40,000 merchants who accept M-Pesa payments.