New Kenyan regulations threaten M-Pesa's dominance

New Kenyan regulations threaten M-Pesa's dominance

Safaricom's M-Pesa could be set to lose its stranglehold on the Kenyan mobile money market under plans by the country's central bank to make operators to use open, interoperable systems.

Safaricom has dominated the Kenyan money transfer market in recent years but the country's draft National Payments System regulations suggest it could be forced to open up its platform to rival telcos.

Says the draft: "E-money issuers shall utilise open systems capable of becoming interoperable with other payment systems in the country and internationally."

According to local publication The Star, Safaricom has been fighting this arrangement, arguing that it will kill innovation and slow down its system. In contrast, Kenya's three other telcos has been lobbying for interoperability.

The central bank is now opening up the draft regulations to public comment until the 18 October.

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