ANALYSE

Telkom, Airtel to access Mpesa's pay bill one year after Till - Safaricom

Safaricom says its waiting to gauge the success of till number access by other telcos.

In Summary

•Through the interoperability system safaricom has allowed Airtel and Telkom Kenya subscribers to pay for goods and services through Mpesa’s till number.

•Safaricom says its waiting to gauge the success of till number access by other telcos.

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa
Image: HANDOUT

Telkom and Airtel will have to wait a year to access Mpesa's Pay Bill money services as the telcos integrate for an across board mobile Interoperability.

Safaricom head of corporate communications Wachira Kangaru says this is a second innovation following the successful rollout of mobile money interoperability which made it possible for customers to send and receive money from any network in the country.

"We believe Pay Bill interoperability should be the next in line, once the industry picks key learnings from how the current innovation progresses," Kangaru told the Star.

Through the interoperability system safaricom has allowed Airtel and Telkom Kenya subscribers to pay for goods and services through Mpesa’s till number.

This is an innovation by Central Bank of Kenya in 2018 in a bid to foster, secure, fast, efficient and collaborative payments systems in Kenya.

It is also meant to replicate the linkage between Airtel Money and M-Pesa by bringing that are connected to the payments space. 

Data from CBK show that while cash remains an important means of payment, Kenyans make over 37.6 million transactions of about Sh176 billion every day through various non-cash channels—mobile money, cards, electronic bank transfers, and cheques.

During the Merchants interoperability launch last week, the CEO of Telkom Kenya, Mugo Kibati while welcoming the innovation, said enhancing the seamless mobile transaction will broaden the consumers' choice.

“The introduction of merchant interoperability brings us closer to realizing a cashless economy, further enhancing a seamless digital transactions ecosystem that gives the consumer more choice,” Kibati said.

The Managing Director of Airtel Prasanta Das Sarma has lauded the CBK for their role in championing collaborations in payment.

"They have made Kenya a trailblazer in digital payments in the world," Sarma said.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndengwa affirmed that the partnership is established on the successful rollout of mobile money interoperability.