Last week, the Competition Authority of Kenya ordered all telcos and commercial banks involved in the mobile money space to begin implementing measures aimed at revealing all the costs involved in these transactions. The directive by CAK stated that the players had until the end of the year to implement these changes. Once effective the rules affected 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 were 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.
A few entities had already complied with the directive, while others were working towards achieving the same. Those who complied included Branch, Tala and Faulu Bank. Commercial banks included Diamond Trust Bank, NIC, Cooperative Bank and Equity Bank , while telco Airtel Kenya and transfer service Mobikash said they were working towards ensuring compliance. According to Business Daily, telco Safaricom says it will need until June next year to comply with this directive. The delay results from the need to fix the technical issues that would arise from the same. Quoting the CEO Bob Collymore, the paper says the telco is engaging with the authority in seeking the deadline extension.