Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom merge mobile money services through ‘Lipa Na M-Pesa’

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Kenya’s mobile network operators Telkom, Safaricom, and Airtel have integrated 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.

The service called interoperability, will exclusively be applicable to Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods and excludes PayBills.

“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,” said Telkom Kenya’s Cjief Executive Officer Mugo Kibati.

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.

 “Safaricom is delighted to partner with other industry players on this exciting innovation to empower mobile money customers in the country to make payments through Lipa Na M-PESA. This partnership builds on the successful rollout of mobile money interoperability making it possible for customers to send and receive money from any network in the country,” said  Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa.

Airtel Kenya CEO, Prasanta Das Sarma said “I am delighted to see Kenya take this big step to enable customers make payments to mobile money merchants, irrespective of their mobile money provider. Our customers will also experience a dynamic, secure, convenient, and more affordable digital payment ecosystem for personal and business payments.”

This proposition is also in line with the principles of the National Payments Strategy, 2022 – 2025, that was launched by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in February this year under trust, Security, usefulness, choice and Innovation.

Purpose of Interoperability is to provide seamless ,secure and affordable means to send and receive money through any network, as CBK will guide and facilitate efforts of a full scale Interoperability across the payment ecosystem.

The CBK has already welcomed the move.

The three telcos said the 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.

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