Mobile money services have grown, and will most likely take an upward trajectory in coming days in Kenya. This development was conceptualized more than a decade ago when Kenyans started to enjoy the services of Safaricom-powered M-PESA. The onset of that innovation has ballooned so much that the country tops the list of nations with vast mobile money penetration across the globe.
Admittedly, M-PESA is the market leader in the game, and has, therefore, been integrated into other fintech-based products. The growth of mobile-based financial services, among other successes, has bolstered the offerings of Safaricom’s primary moneymaker. Its numbers command billions of shillings in terms of transaction volumes, hence, sheer dominance forced regulators to compel mobile money interoperability in the process of leveling the playing ground for others.
The first phase of mobile money operability went live a couple of months ago as we reported on this post. Airtel Kenya was behind the marketing that we saw on the dailies.
The cross-network mobile transfer has received another shot in the arm, but this time, it is marked by a significant drop in transaction fees. The charges, which echo the integration of Telkom’s T-Kash and M-PESA, will be cut by a healthy 76%.
We noticed the integration of cross-platform transfers in Safaricom’s utility app, but at that time, the fees were still astronomical. Soon, if users send money to either of the integrated services, funds will be reflected instantly on the recipient’s wallet.
Also, the reduction of fees translates to what carriers charge for on-net transactions. In other words, sending KES 500 from M-PESA to another M-PESA account holder costs KES 15, which is the same amount that will be charged for monies remitted to T-Kash.
We are not sure if existing charges will be revised because Telkom says the implementation will levy KES 10 from KES 35 for KES 1000 sent from T-Kash to M-PESA. Conversely, M-PESA will impose KES 11 on the same transaction.
The rollout, which scheduled to go live on Thursday, should squeeze the KES 35 to 309 range to KES 10 to 105.