NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – Mobile money users will from March start sending and receiving virtual money across networks in real time after a pilot phase that starts on Monday.
Safaricom’s MPesa and Airtel Money will first test the mobile money interoperability before Telkom Kenya’s mobile money system comes on board mid-February.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru says the interoperability will inject efficiency, increase competition and hopefully bring down the cost of transactions.
“What this means is that when you send money from one network to another, that money goes straight into your wallet. As you know at the moment, when you send money across networks, you receive an SMS and you have to go cash it, and you can’t easily use it,” says Mucheru.
The CS says the operators will foot their own costs of operation during the pilot period, but a price structure will be released once the interoperability is rolled out nationally.
He says the Government has taken a proactive approach as part of leveling the playing field by bringing the operators together to agree on issues of national roaming, tower sharing, termination rates among other issues that have been highlighted by a report commissioned by the Communications Authority on market dominance.