Mobile phone payment systems in Kenya are becoming popular with both consumers and traders. Most businesses are integrating their systems to mobile phone operators’ platforms
Safaricom’s M-pesa, Zap (Airtel), Orange Money (Orange) and Yu Cash (Yu) – to tap more customers. The need to adopt mobile phone commerce results from the increased use of mobile phones and, more importantly, the introduction of mobile phone money transfer services by various telecommunication companies.
According to Communication Commission of Kenya, about 13 million Kenyans use money transfer services. The number has grown steadily in recent years as competition increases with each mobile phone company in the country launching mobile phone money transfer services.
Kenyans are using mobile phone money transfer services to pay utility bills, mainly electricity and water, purchase goods in supermarkets, and pay for bus tickets, insurance premiums and loans.
Banks have also rushed to integrate their services to mobile phones. The banks have partnered with telecommunication companies to allow their customers to transfer money from their bank accounts to their mobile phones and vice versa. The services have enabled customers to bank or withdraw their money and spend electronically, thereby boosting mobile commerce.
According to the World Bank, penetration of the mobile phone in Africa has increased from 3 per cent in 2002 to more than 48 per cent today, and is expected to reach 72 per cent by 2014.