Kenya: Six banks get approval to launch mobile money platform

Feb 08, 2017

The platform will interconnect all banks, cut transaction costs for the banks.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has given regulatory approval to six commercial banks to commence the use of Kenya Interbank Transaction Switch, a mobile money transfer platform developed by Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) to facilitate the transfer of funds between banks without using mobile money platforms owned by telecom companies. The Chief Executive of KBA, Habil Olaka said, "at the moment, about six banks have received approvals to launch the product. Approvals started coming in around two weeks ago. "We started operating the system on a pilot basis towards the end of last year and will now move to incorporate the approved banks and their customers as and when they receive the go-ahead," he stated. Standard Chartered, Commercial Bank of Africa, Barclays Bank, and Equity Bank are among the six banks that have received CBK's approval while Co-op Bank, Family Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, Consolidated Bank, KWFT, NIC Bank, Paramount Bank, Guardian Bank, First Community Bank, Spire Bank and Stanbic Bank are amongst 22 financial institutions taking part in the trial phase. The first attempt to launch the mobile money platform last August failed due to delays in getting approval from the CBK. However, the platform founded under the CBK's National Payment System (NPS) guidelines is expected to interconnect all banks, cut transaction costs while keeping the revenues earned from such transactions among the banks.