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February 17, 2019

Sim swap scandal threat to economy

Sim Cards recovered by the Communications Authority
Sim Cards recovered by the Communications Authority

Kenya has been hailed globally as a trendsetter in the use of mobile money, an innovation that has demystified banking and brought the service right on the door step of mama mboga.

According to the Economist, Kenya leads the world with more active accounts than adults in its population.

It notes that with mobile phones becoming more widely available, mobile payment transfers have helped reach the "unbanked".

Latest data from the  Communication Authority (CA) shows mobile money transactions in Kenya hit Sh1.8 trillion between January and March this year.

A total of Sh1.2 trillion went into payment of goods and services, while person-to-person transfers was Sh581.11 billion.

If you include services such as mobile banking, the sum is way beyond the CA data.

The rising cases of phone scams, therefore, raise serious and disturbing concern in an economy heavily dependant on mobile money.

Quick and decisive action must be taken by the mobile service providers, the CA, the Central Bank of Kenya, the Kenya Bankers Association and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to tackle the problem before the savvy conmen kill the faith invested in mobile money.

They must be ahead of the fraudsters, issuing statements and reassuring messages without going for the culprits and handing them long jail terms, will not help.






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