More jittersThe MPESA phenomenon ha continued to cause jitters and sleepless nights to many players in the banking industry who may have been lobbying the Finance minister to crack the whip.
Yesterday Hon Michuki, the Finance Minister joined the fray and in a rather stern statement called for an audit of MPESA by the Central Bank of Kenya on concerns about the safety of users’ money.
M-Pesa and Zain’s equivalent, Sokotele-Now Zap Brand have been operating outside Central Bank’s (CBK) regulation unlike other money transfer services pending the passage of a National Payments Systems Bill.
The money transfer system, launched in March 2007, has become popular with the unbanked population serving as a deposit account for some, hence causing jitters in the banking industry.
The phone-based electronic money transfer has been viewed as being prone to abuse by money laundering which is an illegal practice. Further concerns of the likely collaspse of the system have been rending the air and those shouting loudest are the banking industry players. Any guess?
The MPESA daily money transfer service has been growing by the day and currently over 20B have been transferred through the System snce it was launched. Its registered account users now stand at over 4 Million and the number is growing by the day.
The successful takeup of MPESA service has clearly demonstrated that Kenyans demands easily accessible, secure cash payment services in this fast growing emerging market and the regulators must take heed not to stiffle the growth with unneccessary and ill-advised regulations.
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