Airtel Money customers can now receive money directly into their mobile money wallet from any network without the withdrawal code that carried a seven-day validity period. The development effected on February 6, 2024 comes in response to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and industry players collaborative efforts to ensure seamless mobile money interoperability as outlined in the CBK National Payments Strategy 2022-2025.
The National Payments Strategy requires all mobile money providers to ensure a seamless customer journey across their different channels – SIM Menu, USSD Menu and App to allow on-network and off-network direct transactions. This will ensure a secure, fast, efficient and collaborative payments system that supports financial inclusion and innovation that benefits Kenyans.
With these changes, a customer registered on any mobile money platform can now send money directly to the recipients’ wallet. This will apply to any amount as low as Kshs 1 and as high as Kshs 250,000 per transaction.
A customer sending money through the Sim Menu, USSD Menu *334# or the App will now simply select ‘Send Money to any Network,’ enter the number of the recipient to complete the transaction which will immediately reflect in the wallet of the recipient – without a withdrawal code.
Commenting on the new development, Airtel Money MD, Anne Kinuthia-Otieno, said: “The new streamlined process supported by the Central Bank is very welcome and a big benefit to Kenyans as customers will now enjoy seamless experience at affordable costs when sending money across networks – regardless of the channel they are using. Sending Money is the biggest use case in Kenya and having a seamless, direct wallet to wallet transfer of money across networks is a big benefit to Kenyans. This is a sign of customer centricity and growth and innovation in the industry. At Airtel Money, our focus is to provide the most affordable and customer centric services in the market, including sending money between Airtel to Airtel which is free of charge, free transaction fees on KPLC payment, instant reimbursement of cashout fees as airtime among many other benefits for our valued customers. ”
On his part, Airtel Kenya MD Ashish Malhotra, added: “This is a major benefit for Kenyans as they can now enjoy the convenience of real-time transactions which has cut out limiting user intermediary steps. In addition, the mobile money market will expand by allowing easy movement of money and enhance financial inclusion for all. I would also like to thank the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on the steps taken to ensure a smooth transition on the new guidelines.”
The power of interoperability demonstrates how collaborative efforts among mobile money operators, regulators and the government can drive comprehensive, customer centric and reliable financial services for all.