Kenyan MPs renew bid for mobile money separation - Mobile World Live

Kenyan MPs renew bid for mobile money separation

24 JUN 2019

Mobile operators in Kenya would be forced to spin-out business lines outside of their core telecommunications businesses if a bill set to be presented to the country’s parliament is passed into law, Business Daily reported.

The Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill 2019, which is set to be debated by politicians, includes rules which would force the country’s operators to legally separate all business units acting outside of the communications sector.

It would also require new licences to be obtained for services falling outside of the remit of the country’s communications regulator.

If approved, the regulations would apply to the country’s thriving mobile money ecosystem and any additional industries providers are active in. Companies would have six months to apply any required changes.

Legislation covers all of the country’s providers, but would likely hit dominant player Safaricom the hardest with its CEO Bob Collymore recently forecasting its mobile money service would provide more than half of the company’s revenue within four years.

Outside of mobile money, Safaricom is also rumoured to be trialing a messaging platform for the Kenyan market.

Previous moves to force Safaricom to separate its burgeoning mobile money unit from its core telecommunications business fell flat in 2017 after they were savagely dismissed by Kenyan ministers and experts linked to Safaricom.

In March, efforts to divide Safaricom were renewed by a section of MPs in the country.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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