Kenya’s mobile money operators agreed a deal to enable domestic cross-network fund transfer without additional consumer charges, ICT Secretary Joe Mucheru announced.

In an interview with Business Daily, the minister said service providers in the country had agreed to simplify the process and speed-up transactions for customers.

Cross-network transactions are currently possible in the country, but are complex to execute and carry additional charges.

Although the Kenyan regulator is yet to introduce formal measures to force compliance on the issue, smoothing these transactions was one of the measures reportedly suggested in a leaked analyst report on competition commissioned by the Communications Authority of Kenya.

Safaricom’s dominance of both the finance and the mobile sectors was the subject of intense speculation earlier in 2017, with suggestions the company could be forced to split its two units.

According to the latest subscription numbers from the Communications Authority of Kenya, covering the three months to end-December 2016, Safaricom’s m-Pesa continues to boast a significant lead in the country’s burgeoning mobile money market with a 67 per cent share of Kenya’s 32 million subscribers.

Airtel Money ranked in second with a 21 per cent share, followed by Mobikash on 6 per cent, and Equitel and Tangaza both below 5 per cent.

Orange Money – which is about to be replaced with a new service by parent company Telkom Kenya – held less than a 1 per cent share.