Airtel Kenya [Photo: Reuters]
The Central Bank of Kenya says Airtel Kenya has separated its mobile money from call, data and SMS business to allow the bank regulate the funds transfer platform.
The funds transfer platform will now be known as Airtel Money Kenya Limited, while the calls and data subsidiary will be called Airtel Networks Kenya Limited.
CBK says the process of delinking Airtel’s mobile money from the telecommunications operations began in 2019, with Airtel Money Kenya Limited receiving its operating license in the country on January 21, 2022 in line with the National Payment System Act 2011.
“The CBK has engaged payment service providers (PSPs) to ensure that the activities under CBK’s supervision are appropriately ring-fenced from other business lines. This will allow the PSPs to protect their CBK-regulated activities from shocks emanating from the other business activities, strengthen governance, enhance resilience and focus on improving its services to customers,” said CBK in a statement.
According to CBK, separation of mobile money business from other businesses by telcos will facilitate realisation of a secure, fast, efficient and collaborative payment system that supports financial inclusion and innovations that benefit Kenyans.
Airtel Money Kenya Limited received its operating license in the country on January 21, 2022 in line with the National Payment System Act 2011, said the CBK.
Airtel’s decision to separate its mobile money from telecommunications operations is expected to pile pressure on leading telco Safaricom, which is facing calls to split its M-Pesa functions from calls, SMS and data business.