Kenya’s M-Pesa Platform Bags GSMA Mobile Money Certification for Security and Reliability


Safaricom’s financial service platform M-PESA has successfully passed the GSMA Mobile Money Certification in an announcement made earlier today.

GSMA is a body that represents the interest of about 800 mobile telecoms operators and more than 300 companies that operate in the mobile space across the globe. Its mobile money certification is preceded by the fact that mobile money services are an emerging market phenomenon.

At the moment, about 690 million people in the world have mobile money accounts, with local M-PESA-based users clocking in at 27 million. These numbers back up the idea that mobile money products are no longer limited to a few selected markets.

The industry benchmark means that M-PESA has demonstrated the ability to deliver secure and reliable services and protects consumer rights. It also means that the platform is capable of combating money laundering, terrorism financing and fraud risks.

“The awarding of the GSMA Mobile Money Certification to M-PESA is a strong testament to the heavy investment we have made in people resources and financial investments, which have been critical to building such a robust service. This certification further reassures our customers of M-PESA’s reputation as a trusted, stable and reliable solution,” said Nicholas Mulila, Director – Risk Management, Safaricom.

“The GSMA Mobile Money Certification is a consumer-focused initiative, aimed at giving customers confidence that a provider has taken steps to ensure their funds are in safe hands, their rights are protected and they can expect a high level of customer service,” said John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “With over 690 million accounts globally, the mobile money industry is having a clear impact on the global effort to expand financial inclusion, providing access to life-enhancing financial services and serving as a gateway to the digital economy.”

The service has also showcased top-of-the-line agent and staff management with timely management of customer complaints.

Launched back in 2007, M-PESA’s 11-year journey has been marked by key gains, including the transfer of the systems infrastructure from Germany to Kenya and extra services in the payment services and ensuring wider penetration with its now 148,000 agent shops. The platform has also been imparted with additional security features such as the Hakikisha update to meet transparency purposes, as well as the ability to reverse funds from unintended recipients.

In terms of cybersecurity, Safaricom continues to deploy a team of fraud experts to enhance security and reliability of the mobile money platform, as well as providing first-line customer support.

A few months ago, M-PESA introduced improved APIs to allow third party businesses to integrate payment services on their platforms.

At the moment, five mobile money providers that serve 98 million accounts have been certified. Tanzania’s Vodacom-affiliated M-PESA and Milicom Group’s Tigo have received the badge. Ivory Coast’s Orange Money and Pakistani Telenor Micro-finance have also been certified.