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Safaricom Ordered To Open Up Its M-PESA Platform To Other Players

Safaricom Ordered To Open Up Its M-PESA Platform To Other Players

Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK), the supreme regulatory body for communications in Kenya, has issued an order to Safaricom to open up its M-Pesa platform. This comes after its main rival, Airtel Kenya filing a petition earlier this year on allegations that Safaricom is practicing unfair competition.

Airtel made a statement that the CAK order marks the end of the extended battle between the two telecom firms over service exclusivity. That saw Safaricom blocking its M-Pesa agents from making transactions with other mobile operators.

CAK issued the letter on July 25th, 2014 to both Safaricom and Airtel with clear orders that Safaricom should implement the orders not later than July 18th. The content of the letters clearly stipulated that every restrictive clause in the agreement made between Safaricom and the M-Pesa agents ought to be expunged with immediate effect before reaching July 18th.

Airtel CEO, Adil El Youssefi in a statement, said, “Safaricom needs to publicize and make official the decision to open up its network.”

CAK, also made it clear that the Safaricom oversight is only limited to its agreement with the M-Pesa agents. CAK also reinforced the statement that all mobile money transfer service providers established in Kenya will remain liable in ensuring it complies with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) regulations.

Wango’ombe Kariuk, Director General, CAK said they did not give instructions or ruling on a set cost and interoperability of transactions since that is an issue that would require both the CAK and CBK’s input.

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