By Winnie Kabintie
Airtel arguably stands to gain the most from the recent mobile money interoperability that will see subscribers send and receive money across different mobile money platforms.
Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom recently announced the development to the joy of many subscribers especially those of the latter two networks, who had been limited by their networks on reliable mobile money platforms.
Airtel has its mobile money platform (Airtel Money) but due to limited, almost non-existed agents, the platform has not been reliable and it’s not uncommon to find Airtel subscribers with a secondary Safaricom line, just for Mpesa transactions.
Unlike in the past when for instance a Safaricom user would send money via Mpesa to an Airtel user and the cash would not reflect in their Airtel money account and could only be withdrawn from an Mpesa agent, this time money sent to either platforms will reflect on the respective accounts Although even with the mobile money interoperability Airtel Money users can only withdraw from Airtel Money agents and not M-Pesa agents and vice versa,.
Airtel will now have to open up more agents to make their mobile money platform more reliable to their subscribers.
The money transfer service across networks will start with Airtel and Safaricom. Telkom, which launched its own mobile money service T-Kash, last month, will join the two at a later date.
According to ICT CS Mr Joe Mucheru, the mobile money interoperability will restore competitiveness in the sector.
There are currently 28.2 million mobile money subscribers ACCORDING TO the Communications Authority (CA). M-Pesa has the largest share with 22.8 million subscribers (80 per cent market share).
Kenya is now the 16th country on the continent to successfully implement wallet interoperability.
Telecommunications Market Shift
Recent data by the Communications Authority (CA) indicate that the market shares for Airtel Networks Limited rose to 17.2 per cent from 14.9 per cent recorded during the in the quarter to December 2017.
Airtel’s share of voice traffic increased by 22 per cent up from 13.5 in the same period under review while that of market leader Safaricom’s dropped to 72.5 per cent from 80.6 per cent.
Airtel’s Tubonge tarrif, a voice package launched last year, which allows users to call more for less could be attributed to the increased share in voice traffic.
Tubonge subscription allows you make Airtel to Airtel at no extra charge and a preferential rate of 2 shillings to call other networks.
Airtel Offers Cheaper Data
Majority of people who prefer using Airtel are also driven by the cheaper data offered by the telecommunications company.
Its “Unliminet” product which offers subscribers a package with unlimited data, SMS and voice minutes from as little as Sh 20 has been the icing on the cake and is very popular among the millenials.
HOW TO SEND MONEY ACROSS MPESA/AIRTEL MONEY
- Dial *234#
- Select option 1 – Mpesa products
- Select 98 – More Services
- Select option 8 – Tuma Pesa popote
- Enter recipients number
- Enter PIN
- Dial *222*1#
- Select Language
- Select option 1 – Send money
- Select option 2 – Send money to Mpesa
- Enter recipient’s number
- Enter PIN when prompted