It has since been revealed that Airtel Africa is prepping a listing in the London Stock Exchange, which implies that the telecoms corporation has to reveal more details about its financials before any major decision is made.
Now, it has been reported that Airtel Kenya, which is one of the many markets that Bharti Airtel has in Africa lost money to the tune of KES 670 million through mobile money fraud. This case was revealed in documents submitted to the London Stock Exchange, where the employee faulted the loss to its employees.
According to the Standard, Airtel reports that about $670,000 was lost in a similar manner in its Niger market. In both scenarios, Airtel admits that its employees were able to work around Airtel Money security features to dupe the organization of the reported funds.
It is worth noting that the reveal was discussed in the company’s prospectus, which discusses a series of the carrier’s investments such as additional budgets that are required to safeguard the robustness of its services and closing loopholes in the regulatory space. The prospectus identified mobile money services as one of the riskiest investments, although its returns have proved to be profitable, at least for competing telcos.
So far, Airtel Kenya has received KES 86 million as insurance against mobile money losses. Airtel has also reported that it has tightened loose ends through technical overhauls, daily reconciliations and managerial changes. However, Kenya’s second biggest mobile operator admits that cases of fraud surrounding mobile money cannot be eliminated entirely, especially when partners or individuals are involved.
Airtel, which is also pursuing a merger deal with Telkom Kenya, has been under the shadow of Safaricom whose numbers are as twice what the two carriers command. The mobile money space has been insanely profitable for Safaricom. Airtel Money and Telkom’s T-Kash have been attempting to grow their cut in a market where customers have come to rely on such services, but their market share is still insignificant.