Kenya’s Central Bank pursues regulation of Mpesa

The Central Bank of Kenya has announced that it will in the next four years work towards curtailing the dominance of mobile money service Mpesa. This is part of the National Payments Strategy for the period 2022-2025. Mpesa facilitates almost all mobile money payments in Kenya. Data from the Communications Authority shows that Mpesa has 98.4% of registered mobile money customers, leaving only 1.6% to the other service providers Airtel Money and Telkom’s T-Kash. Mpesa’s market concentration is further complicated by integration of the service with services such as e-government, banking, and betting. Competitors have suggested that the platform should be made interoperable, and that they should be allowed access to the system. Safaricom, which owns Mpesa has defended its market share, arguing that it has not abused its dominance. The Central Bank’s regulation comes amidst critique on the role of mobile money in enabling financial inclusion