kenya:More banks given go-ahead to roll out mobile cash

The number of commercial banks approved by the Central Bank of Kenya to operate interbank mobile money transfer platform, PesaLink, has doubled to 24 from 12. The product was unveiled on February 16.

The Kenya Bankers Association, which own the platform through subsidiary Integrated Payment Services, says about million people have been registered on the platform.

KBA chief executive Habil Olaka said he expected all the 42 lenders in operation to roll out the platform in the next few months. The system is set to go live later this month, focusing on person-to-person transactions.

"So far the process is going on well, though some banks are yet to switch to the system," Olaka said. "We expect all of the to finalise the process to allow smooth flow of operations, as we are in plans to start phase two."

The second phase will involve partnerships with merchants, government and mobile network operator.

Olaka said the banks will rope in more as the process continues. He spoke during the signing of Sh4 million MoU with Kenya Community Development Foundation.

The partnership will see KCDF undertake programmes that engage youth groups on interventions such as mentorship and capacitating the youth with skills based on economic opportunities.

Olaka said that the funding will focus on youth who have entrepreneurial skills, are assertive and have leadership characteristics that will enable them influence their communities in a positive way. “Our goal is to implement sustainable initiatives that target youth development by exposing youth to skills that empower them economically and ultimately enable them to be self-reliant,” said Olaka.

KCDF executive director Janet Mawiyoo said the funding will go a long way in ensuring the youth, who continue to be marginalised, get requisite skills and values that will enable them become productive and law abiding citizens.