Kenyan firm gets CBK nod to take on M-Pesa

Nairobi-based electronic payments firm ViewTech has been authorised by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to facilitate in-person payments through the mobile phone in a market dominated by M-Pesa.

ViewTech will offer the payment services under its SasaPay brand taking the battle for mobile payment customers to M-Pesa, Airtel Money and T-Kash by Telkom Kenya.

The firm said its targeted services include sending money from one person to another, merchants’ payments where businesses receive payments and pay other businesses as well as utility bill payments such as for electricity.

“SasaPay will offer safe, seamless, and modern payment solutions for different needs,” said ViewTech chief executive and co-founder Dennis Githui in a statement.

Safaricom’s  M-Pesa handled the biggest amount of in-person transactions in the April to June period followed by Airtel Money and Telkom Kenya’s T-Kash, according to data by the Communication Authority (CA).

M-Pesa handled Sh1 trillion ahead of Airtel and T-Kash which transacted Sh341 million and 143 million respectively in the period.

Business digitisation has led to the increased adoption of mobile money services.

The CA data also shows M-Pesa controls the largest number of agents at 89.8 percent of 283,357 operating in the period ended June, while Airtel Money and T-Kash stand at 7.5 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

ViewTech has won a licence two months after the CBK revoked the licence of another payments service provider Mobile Pay Limited (MPL) whose service brand name is Tangaza over regulatory breaches.

CBK said late October MPL had repeatedly failed to submit compliance reports including audited financial reports as required by the financial regulator.