‘Thin SIMs’ set to transform African mobile money

Business, Internet, Mobile
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.

Safaricom Vs Equity Bank: May the best telco win, says Uhuru Kenyatta at the 6th East African Business Summit in Kigali

Business, Mobile
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday said he declined to be drawn into the battle between Safaricom and Equity Bank over use of thin SIM card, instead urged those lobbying him to allow competition to drive the market. Reports Nation Media Addressing business leaders during the 6th East African Business Summit in Kigali, Mr Kenyatta said there is a greater need to allow rivalry in order to deepen mobile money transfer saying this will increase benefits to users. Cheaper and better products “Some people came to me to say that licensing this or that will have consequences but I told them the competition between the firms including that of my friend Bob Collymore (Safaricom chief executive officer) is good for the market. Let them (Equity and Safaricom) fight out. All we want is

Kenya: House team halts Equity Bank’s thin-SIM rollout

Business, Mobile
The National Assembly’s Energy and ICT Committee has asked the Communications Authority (CA) to halt Equity Bank's thin-SIM card rollout until it is satisfied about the security of the technology. Nation Daily Reports The move by the parliamentary team comes two days after the regulators, CA and the Central Bank of Kenya, allowed Equity Bank to launch mobile money services using the technology. The regulators dismissed Safaricom’s objections on the new card — which will ride on existing SIM cards — saying that initial investigations showed “that no major complaints and particularly on interception of traffic of the primary SIM card have been reported so far.” Safaricom had welcomed the regulators' decision, saying they were happy with the commitment to review security on t

Kenya’s Equity Bank Allowed to deploy is Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) services

Business, Mobile
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 slashes M-PESA charges by up to 67 percent, in a bid to counter Equity Bank entry in the mobile money market

Business, Mobile
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

Kenya Airways signs deal with Bharti Airtel to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)

Business, Mobile
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7 – Telecommunication services provider Bharti Airtel and Kenya Airways have opened a new innovative chapter in the telecoms industry in Africa with the announcement that Airtel will host Kenya Airways as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, (MVNO) on its Kenyan network. reports CapitalFm  In a move geared at deepening mobile penetration and providing innovative value added services, Airtel – with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa – and Kenya Airways have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deliver an MVNO service for the airline, subject to regulatory approvals. The MoU between the two companies was signed by the Kenya Airways CEO and Managing Director, Titus Naikuni and the Airtel Africa CEO, Christian de Faria, at the Kenya Airways Headquarte