Earlier this year in April, Safaricom announced that M-Pesa Till Numbers could accept payments from any network. This was as part of Phase 1 in implementing the National Payments Strategy launched by the Central Bank of Kenya in February. Today, Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom have announced the opening up of M-Pesa Pay Bill Numbers to all networks. This completes Phase 1.
In Phase 2, Safaricom customers will be able to make payments to Airtel and Telkom Till Numbers from their M-Pesa balances.
The objective of the interoperability of Kenya’s mobile money service platforms is to allow Kenyans to make direct mobile money payments to any M-PESA merchant Pay Bill Number and Merchant Tills, from any network, thereby boosting the adoption and convenience of making cashless payments.
The National Payments Strategy seeks to achieve a secure, fast, efficient and collaborative payments system that supports financial inclusion and innovations that benefit Kenyans:
What they said:
Telkom Kenya’s CEO, Mugo Kibati said, “From our interactive sessions with our customers we have taken note that Kenyans appreciate mobile money solutions better when they keep on finding more reasons to attach value to their mobile wallets, whether they are sending money, paying for goods and services, saving, borrowing or trading. The announcement made today, on Pay Bill interoperability, brings us closer to realising a cashless economy, further enhancing a seamless digital transactions ecosystem that gives the consumer more convenience and choice. Our customers will first be able to access this exciting addition via USSD *160#.”
Safaricom’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa says, “Today’s launch of Pay Bill interoperability between M-PESA, Airtel Money and T-Kash, follows that of ‘Send Money’ and Till interoperability. This innovation extends even more convenience to customers and businesses, transforming M-PESA into a one-stop solution to send and receive money and payments from any financial service locally, and our global partners.”
Airtel Kenya’s CEO, Ashish Malhotra said, “We are excited to be part of this change that seeks to provide Kenyans with an affordable, convenient and secure cashless payments platform that will provide more options that empower customers as they go about their day-to-day economic activity. Our customers can access this service via USSD *222# or *334#.”