Subscribers of telecom provider Airtel will soon be making payments using Safaricom’s Lipa Na M-PESA payment platform.
The new payment option for Airtel subscribers will be launched on Friday, April 8 and users will be able to make payments using the Lipa Na M-PESA Till and Paybill options.
“Lipa Na M-PESA will have interoperability between operators. It will benefit both consumers and operators,” said a top executive at Safaricom.
The new move has been hailed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) which has been fronting for a seamless transfer to end the dominance of Safaricom’s mobile money service.
“This trend is expected to continue increasing once initiatives such as interoperability are fully rolled out, allowing customers to seamlessly transact across the ecosystem irrespective of their provider,” CBK said.
Interoperability refers to the basic ability of different computerized products or systems to readily connect and exchange information with one another, in either implementation or access, without restriction.
There four levels of interoperability are foundational, structural, semantic, and organizational.
The system has enabled customers to send money via M-PESA to Airtel Money users for four years now.
Lipa Na M-PESA has established itself as the main mode of payment for ordinary services over card payments.
“There is limited competition for merchant acceptance in the mobile money space. This is also due to limited acceptance of competitor payment instruments
“Limited interoperability in the mobile money merchant acceptance space limits payment options available to customers as well,” CBK noted.
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