Apr 23, 2013

The uncertain future of mobile money regulation in Kenya

It is exciting to think about what the future may hold for mobile money regulation in Kenya. One can argue that Kenya allows much more self-regulation of mobile money than do other countries. Mobile money is not directly regulated under a full banking license but operates under a special dispensation from the Central Bank.

However, unclear policies on mobile money and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) mean that mobile money in Kenya may suffer high level regulatory risk. Mobile money continues to evolve in an environment where regulation and policy is yet to be fully developed and the government is still trying to figure out how to leverage this mobile money growth for its own good.

Central Bank is proposing to start investigating all mobile money transfer services above Sh300,000 a week in a move  to fight money laundering and stop the risk of terrorism financing. CBK also wants agents dealing in mobile money transfers regulated.Last year the government introduce a 10 per cent tax on mobile money transfers. What’s next?

Does this mean that the regulator may begin to take a more active role in the mobile money industry?