Kenya’s mobile network operators (MNOs) Telkom, Safaricom, and Airtel have announced the interoperability of their mobile money service platforms, allowing Kenyans to make mobile money payments to a Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods Till, from any of the three networks.
According to a joint press release, the service will exclusively apply to Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods and excludes PayBills. This proposition is also in line with the principles of the National Payments Strategy, 2022 – 2025, which was launched by the Central Bank of Kenya in February this year.
"This is the first phase towards complete Merchant Interoperability, whose objective is to enable customers from the three mobile money service platforms: T-kash, M-PESA, and Airtel Money make direct mobile money payments to any merchant till number, across all networks, boosting the adoption and convenience of making cashless payments," said the press release.
Telkom Kenya’s CEO, Mugo KIBATI says Kenya remains a global leader in the adoption of mobile money, with transactions in the billions of shillings reflecting the evolving customer demand for secure transactions.
"Our mobile money service, T-kash, is the culmination of extensive research on evolving customer demands, such as the need for security, simplicity, availability, and a diversified service offering. In addition to enriching our financial service offering, the introduction of merchant interoperability brings us closer to realising a cashless economy, further enhancing a seamless digital transactions ecosystem that gives the consumer more choice,” he said.
The three telcos are confident that this solution will offer a faster, more affordable, secure, and convenient alternative to cash payments and also eliminate the hassle of transferring money across networks, before making payments.
Safaricom is a telecommunication company in East Africa. Telkom is a technology company that provides integrated solutions to individuals, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Government, and large corporates in Kenya. Airtel Africa is a provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East Africa and Central and West Africa.