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.
In a move that’s set to revolutionize mobile money in Kenya and change the status quo of Kenya mobile money kings, Equity Bank through it’s supplier Taisys announced it will be issuing a ultra-thin mobile banking smart SIM. Reports techmoran.com
Though it has been bone a long journey to these baby steps, Equity Bank will begin issuing the thin SIMs to its customers to transfer funds, do micro-payments and other mobile financial services using Taisys’s “mBanking” and “duoSIM”technology.
Though approved by Communications Authority of Kenya, Equity Bank’s Finserve Africa or Equitel to the public, the ultra-thin smart SIM – duoSIM – which are to be directly attached the surface of an existing telco-issued SIM, and placed into the mobile device have raised questions on the safety of the peopl
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
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
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
Equity Bank goes for special SIM cards for its mobile money service reports businessdailyafrica.com
Equity Bank plans to issue consumers with the ultra-slim SIM cards that can sit on the back of normal SIM cards, saving users the trouble of migrating or carrying two phones.
The layered SIM card can receive and make calls as an independent line and comes loaded with mobile wallets for financial services.
The special SIM card allows users to access financial services and make cheap international phone calls by diverting traffic from the parent network to the carry-on SIM.
Equity Bank’s customers will get special SIM cards to simultaneously access the lender’s mobile virtual network without parting ways with the existing telecoms operators.
Equity, which got a Mobil