Kenya’s largest teleco, Safaricom, will implement a fee-waiver on East Africa’s leading mobile-money product, M-Pesa, to reduce the physical exchange of currency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The company announced that all person-to-person (P2P) transactions under 1,000 Kenyan Schillings (≈ $10) would be free starting Tuesday for the next 90 days.
The move came after Safaricom met with the country’s Central Bank and per a directive from Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta “to explore ways of deepening mobile-money usage to reduce risk of spreading the virus through physical handling of cash,” according to a release provided to TechCrunch from Safaricom.
To encourage the use of digital payments over cash, the East African telecom will also allow SMEs to increase their daily M-Pe
3G Direct Pay has launched a new platform that enables cross border payments across different mobile networks. Reports Capital Business
The new service is available to mobile phone subscribers in over five African countries, who can now pay and be paid across different mobile carriers. The platform will support numerous Mobile Money Wallets including – M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Tigo Pesa, Vodacom, and MTN.
Merchants, working with 3G Direct Pay, will be able to conveniently accept payments in real time and will be able to use all cards, bank transfer and paypal from the same single connection.
“We have seen an increased desire for people to be able to safely pay to merchants via mobile money accounts across networks and borders,” said Eran Feinstein, Managing Director, 3G Direct Pay Limite
Equity Bank has acquired a licence to operate a mobile-phone service in conjunction with Airtel, Equitel. Equity Bank is another Kenyan success story, revolutionised local finance in the past decade by slashing fees and helping to bring the poor into the banking sector; the number of accounts rose from around 2.5m in 2005 to more than 20m in 2013 (in a population of 44m).
On July 15th their joint venture, Equitel, will launch a service that uses “thin SIMs”, plastic sheets embedded with microchips that slip over the top of a standard SIM card and let the user switch between operators easily. This makes it more likely they will try, and perhaps eventually migrate to, Safaricom’s new rival. Equitel is aiming for 5m users by the end of the year, compared with Safaricom’s 23m. Safaricom is
Despite increasing access to cheaper smartphones, Africa's mobile broadband penetration still remains below 20%, report indicates
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) released its ICT Facts & Figures report, which revealed that the continent is the only region where mobile broadband access is less than 20%.
The ITU's report examines the global development of ICT over the past 15 years from the year 2000 to 2015.And acco rding to the report Africa's mobile broadband subscriptions currently stands at 17.4%. The report notes that mobile-broadband penetration levels are highest in Europe and the Americas, at around 78 active subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.
A report by the Pew Research Center released earlier this year revealed that smartphones (those that can access the
Kenya’s mobile money industry could undergo a serious shakeup thanks to new technology. A Kenyan bank is rolling out its own mobile network using a new paper-thin SIM card that sits on top of an ordinary SIM. But industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud. Reports Hilary Heuler on HowweMadeitinAfrica
For years mobile money, perhaps Kenya’s most successful invention, has been transforming the way Africans do business and send money home. The service was launched by Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom, and in Kenya, Safaricom’s M-Pesa enjoys a near-monopoly when it comes to transferring money via mobile phones.
But now the company could be facing its first serious challenge, in the form of a new technology that threatens to upend the mobile money sector.
Financial provider, Equity Bank has been allowed to deploy its mobile phone banking and cash transfer service over a one-year trial period. Reports CNBC Africa
Equity Bank has been allowed to deploy its mobile phone banking and cash transfer service over a one-year trial period. PHOTO: Getty Images
After much deliberation the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) gave the lender, which is Kenya’s largest financial institution by customer base, the green light to roll out its SIM card technology in order to roll out its Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) services.
This is despite, the country’s largest telecommunication network, Safaricom, arguing that the SIM card poses countless security threats and should be subjected to independent audits.
(READ MORE: Kenya's Equity
Safaricom has announced a reduction of transaction fees levied by the operator on M-PESA on the low and medium transaction bands, this is in line with its strategic objective of transforming lives through financial inclusion.
The new tariffs, which are set to take effect from Thursday August 21, will see transaction fees reduced by up to 67 percent in the low and medium tiered bands which include the transfer of amounts ranging between Sh10 to Sh1,500.
While making the tariff revision announcement, the operator also signaled that it had rationalized the tariffs for sending higher amounts exceeding Sh1,501 to be an average of 0.8 percent of the transaction value.
“We have spent a considerable amount of time analyzing M-PESA usage trends and we have established that over 65 percent of all
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba may have dominated online retail on personal computers, but is some way from replicating that leadership in shopping by smartphone and other mobile devices. Reports ITWeb
Alibaba, which is heading towards a bumper New York IPO later this year, is throwing billions of dollars at figuring out how to thrive as half a billion people, 80% of China's 618 million Internet users, go online via mobile.
The Hangzhou-based firm said last month that mobile has become an increasing source of transactions, now accounting for more than a quarter of the value of goods sold across its online marketplaces. But Alibaba's shift to wireless commerce is a double-edged sword: mobile commerce brings in significantly less revenue than traditional e-commerce.
The quick-hit impuls
Qatar Airways passengers can now pay for tickets using M-Pesa after the airline entered into a partnership with Safaricom. Reports Business Daily Africa
Qatar Airways country manager, Sami Debbiche, said that the new payment solution has been introduced to give passengers a flexible payment method.
“The partnership will enable our passengers book tickets at any given time through the use of their mobile phones,” said Mr Debbiche.
The deal allows Qatar's customers make online bookings or through the reservations office and pay through M-Pesa.
“We are proud to be associated with Qatar Airways. Our goal is to remain relevant to market needs and this is the reason why M-Pesa is constantly seeking strategic partnerships aimed at meeting our customers at their point of need,’
Reports by IPC Weekly Datashots - Highlights which speak to the incredible growth which is happening in Africa today, as well as the potential for future growth.
As of June 2013, 98 million (48%) of the 203 million registered mobile money accounts globally were in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) - East Africa holding the lion's share of SSA’s total and accounting for 34% of the global total. In addition, 9 African countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Cameroon have more mobile money accounts than bank accounts - championing financial inclusion by providing financial services to more people than traditional banks have been able to reach.
As of the end of 2013, there were 219 mobile money services globally (233 as of April 2014) and SSA is home to 52% of them. At the top of mobile money provide
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