Kenya’s mobile network operators Telkom, Safaricom, and Airtel have today announced the interoperability of their mobile money service platforms.
Kenyans can now make mobile money payments to a Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods Till, from any of the three networks. The service will exclusively be applicable to Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods and excludes PayBills.
This is the first phase towards complete Merchant Interoperability, whose objective is to enable customers from the three mobile money service platforms T-kash, M-PESA, and Airtel Money make direct mobile money payments to any merchant till number, across all networks, boosting the adoption and convenience of making cashless payments.
Safaricom’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa said, “Safaricom is delighted to partner with other industry players on this exciting innovation to empower mobile money customers in the country to make payments through Lipa Na M-PESA. This partnership builds on the successful rollout of mobile money interoperability making it possible for customers to send and receive money from any network in the country.”
Telkom Kenya’s CEO, Mugo Kibati lauded the move saying, “The introduction of merchant interoperability brings us closer to realising a cashless economy, further enhancing a seamless digital transactions ecosystem that gives the consumer more choice.”
Airtel Kenya CEO, Prasanta Das Sarma said, “I am delighted to see Kenya take this big step to enable customers make payments to mobile money merchants, irrespective of their mobile money provider.”
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has been pushing to imitate the linkage between Airtel Money and M-Pesa that was introduced four years ago.
The solution will offer a faster, more affordable, secure, and convenient alternative to cash payments and also eliminate the hassle of transferring money across networks, before making payments AA.