The Competition Authority of Kenya is the body charged with the mandate of regulating and creating a fair field in all sectors of the economy. As such, the authority has now ordered all players in the mobile money including commercial banks and telcos to reveal to customers the charges involved in mobile money transactions. The players will have until the end of the year to implement this directive. According to the authority, these orders will apply to all entities offering financial services through applications (this includes players such as Branch and Tala); USSD codes (such as KCB’s *522#) and from SIM toolkits such as M-Pesa and Equitel. The directive will also include transactions covering payments such as Lipa na M-Pesa.
Banks, on the other hand, will have to disclose how much they bill customers for mobile loans, money transfer services, payment for utilities and balance requests. Players such as Branch and Tala will now be required to break down the cost of loan repayment, issue receipts while disclosing the fees charged for these services before one accepts to take a loan on these services (This will certainly affect the UX). The authority says this directive was issued following increased customer complaints on the opaqueness of mobile money transactions.
Already, some players have implemented the directive, among them Branch, Tala and Faulu Bank. Some commercial banks such as NIC, Cooperative Bank and Equity Bank are currently in the process of complying with the directive with a date set for November 14th. Airtel Kenya and Mobikash are also working towards ensuring compliance with the same. Once effected, these rules will make it easier for consumers to understand the various charges will at the same time, making it easy for the authority to enforce consumer protection laws.