Mpesa will no longer allow transfers to Unregistered users in Kenya

Starting from February 5th, 2024 you will no longer be able to send money from Safaricom’s MPESA to unregistered users. Transfers are now limited only to registered users in Kenya due to security concerns.

Previously, M-PESA allowed transactions to unregistered Safaricom customers, but this alteration signifies a departure from that practice. Safaricom‘s statement on its X account reveals that users will no longer have the capability to send or receive money across different mobile money providers.

While the telecom giant has not explicitly stated the motive behind this rule change, speculation points towards security concerns. Unregistered SIM cards have been associated with untraceable mobile money movements, raising potential risks of illicit activities.

This development is part of ongoing efforts by state agencies to address M-PESA’s dominance in Kenya. Mobile money subscriptions, reaching 38.1 million in September 2023, are overwhelmingly led by M-PESA with a staggering 96.5% market share in Q2 2023. Airtel Money and T-Kash trail at 3.4% and 0.1%, respectively.

Despite calls to declare M-PESA a dominant player, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) advocated for mobile money interoperability to foster competition. However, Airtel Money and T-Kash have struggled to gain traction, possibly due to their limited agency networks.

M-PESA has recently faced challenges with inconsistent service availability, prompting customer complaints across various social media platforms. The telco’s departure from its usual transparent communication strategy has raised eyebrows, diverging from the customer-first approach that once endeared it to millions of Kenyans.

As Safaricom implements these changes, industry observers will be keenly monitoring the potential impacts on financial inclusion and market dynamics. The telecom giant’s handling of service outages and its commitment to addressing customer concerns will likely shape its narrative in the coming months.

Conclusion

Starting from February 5th, 2024, Safaricom‘s MPESA will no longer allow you to transfer to unregistered users on MPesa, Airtel Money, and T-Kash. Mpesa transfers are now limited only to registered users in Kenya. This decision is due to security concerns linked to unregistered SIM cards.

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