A leading payments industry news source for more than 17 years. Glenbrook curates the news and keeps you abreast of the important daily headlines in payments.

Search Payments News

July 10, 2024

On the web

Kenya’s Mobile Money Sector Soars After Removal of Airtel-M-Pesa Transfer Barriers


"Kenya’s mobile money landscape has experienced a significant boost, with subscriber numbers surging to 38.7 million following the removal of withdrawal codes for transactions between Airtel Money and M-Pesa. Previously, Airtel Money users faced the inconvenience of having to withdraw cash within seven days of receiving funds from M-Pesa or risk having the money returned to the sender."

April 12, 2024

On the web

October 16, 2023

On the web

August 10, 2023

On the web

August 3, 2023

On the web

August 2, 2023

On the web

July 19, 2023

On the web

TerraPay (Mobex) Partners with Safaricom's M-PESA to Facilitate Seamless Outbound Cross-Border Remittances


"TerraPay, a leading global payments infrastructure company announced its partnership with Safaricom, Kenya's leading telecommunications, IT and financial services provider...The partnership, through TerraPay's group company Mobex (Kenya), a licensed Money Remittance Provider, will enable more than 30 million M-PESA mobile wallet-holders in Kenya to send real-time payments through TerraPay's interoperable network across all wallets in Bangladesh & Pakistan, with plans to roll out India & Nepal in a few months."

July 7, 2023

On the web

More Than 3 Million Customers are Now Using the M-PESA Super App


"Safaricom’s M-PESA super app has surpassed three million users up from 1.2 million in April 2023. Safaricom revealed this on Thursday while announcing two new additional services two the app. According to Safaricom’s latest financial year to April 2023, the Super App processed 489 million transactions with a value of KSh. 1.3 trillion."

June 2, 2023

On the wires

May 3, 2023

On the web

Central Bank of Kenya Unveils QR Code Standard For Online Payments

Capital Business

"The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has unveiled a QR Code Standard that seeks to hasten online payments for businesses and customers. The standard will guide how payment service providers and banks that are regulated by the CBK will issue Quick Response (QR) codes to consumers and businesses that accept digital payments."

December 15, 2022

On the web

Safaricom Slashes Bank to M-Pesa Fees

Global Banking & Finance Review

“Safaricom will drastically cut charges on M-Pesa to bank transactions by a range of between 23 per cent and 100 per cent at the start of next year as the Central Bank of Kenya pushes forward with its goal of making financial services more affordable. Banks and Safaricom have not been charging their customers for these transfers since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the waivers part of emergency measures aimed at increasing the uptake of cashless transactions besides offering relief to households. The CBK has been allowing regulated entities to resume charges on their services but at lower rates than before, with the transfers between mobile wallets and banks being the latest to implement the price reforms. While the charges have been cut substantially, their reinstatement will still boost the revenues of banks and Safaricom by billions of shillings.”

December 2, 2022

On the web

Vodacom Launches Fuliza-Like Service in DRC


“Vodacash is launching its new service M-Pesa Rallonge in the DRC to allow customers to financial assistance from their cell phones. M-Pesa Rallonge is a new service dedicated to M-Pesa users with zero or insufficient balances. Users will be able to take advantage of this service to get an instant overdraft and top up their balance to make a transaction, such as: Send money without withdrawal fees; Purchase Credit for oneself; Purchase Packages for oneself; Purchasing Products; Resubscription to cable channels such as Canal+, Startimes, Easy TV, and Bleusat, except DStv, which only supports payment in dollars. As you might have already guessed, this is the same product as M-PESA’s Fuliza in Kenya, which allows customers to access credit when their balance is zero or insufficient for completing certain transactions. It has been around since 2019 and has since surpassed M-Shwari and KCB M-PESA in terms of revenue. The product has further seen its charges reduced substantially to cushion users from the harsh economic times.”

December 1, 2022

On the web

PesaPal Unveils M-Pesa Tap And Go Feature

Capital Business

“Electronic payments firm Pesapal has unveiled a M-Pesa tap and go pay feature, allowing customers to pay for goods and services seamlessly. The Supertap platform enables Pesa mobile users to simplify Mpesa payments at the thousands of merchants using Pesapal Sabi POS machines. Customers can now tap their phones on Pesapal Sabi POS machines to complete Mpesa payments. Supertap eliminates the lengthy process at the counter where customers are required to key in till numbers or give cashiers their phone numbers to complete payments.”

November 9, 2022

On the web

M-PESA to Split from Safaricom- What Happens Next?

Gadgets Africa

“After years of speculations, political pressure, and internal resistance, it is finally about to happen- Safaricom and its mobile money platform M-PESA will become separate entities by 2023. Recently, its local competitor, Airtel Kenya, became the first to undertake this huge step. Airtel Kenya has already separated its mobile money business, Airtel Money, from its other services.  Currently, M-PESA services are still under Safaricom PLC, which pays tax as a communication services firm. Since when late Bob Collymore was CEO, the idea of a split has never settled well with Safaricom management. Past and present CEOs have maintained that it feels like a punishment to the company because of its success.”

October 28, 2022

On the web

M-Pesa Active Users in Kenya Hit 32 Million

Garowe Online

“Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform’s active users have hit 32 million, this is driven by the need for mobile payment platforms by Kenyans. Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa said.  “During the reporting period (April 2021 to March 2022), our biggest innovation, M-Pesa which celebrated 15 years also celebrated the 30 million customer mark-monthly active customers.  And I dare say that since then, we’ve seen another 2 million join the franchise.””

July 18, 2022

On the web

M-Pesa Links Paybill with Telkom, Airtel Money

Business Daily

“Airtel and Telkom users will from today (Friday) access Safaricom’s pay bill platform following the upgrade of the seamless transfer of money through merchants attached to different operators. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will Friday launch the interoperability for the pay-bill service— the ability of different IT systems to communicate and exchange data —of the two rival networks for merchant payments.”

July 5, 2022

On the web

M-Pesa Visa Undercuts Banks on Forex Charges

Business Daily

“M-Pesa virtual Visa card is undercutting Kenya’s commercial banks with lower foreign exchange rates in the race to get a larger share of the country’s cross-border payments market. The virtual card, which is initially available to more than 30 million M-Pesa users in Kenya, is charging Sh121.92 to the dollar for payments across Visa’s 61 million merchants.”

April 5, 2021

On the web

Kenya Becomes the Second African Country to Launch 5G


“Mobile network operator Safaricom has launched a 5G network in Kenya. This makes it the second country in Africa to roll out the technology to customers, according to GSMA, an organization representing mobile network operators worldwide. The company is trialling the technology in four towns, and expects to expand it to nine over the next year. Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa described the launch last week as “a major milestone for the country.”  The telco is implementing the project using technology from the Finnish company Nokia and the Chinese company Huawei.”

March 1, 2021

On the web

Kenya Is Preparing to Crack Down on a Flood of High-interest Loan Apps

Quartz Africa

“A new Kenyan bill seeks to license and regulate digital lending platforms in the country, in a bid to clamp down on the issuance of high-interest loans as well as the predatory practices that have accompanied the industry’s massive growth. Mobile lending apps have become an easy source of credit for Kenyans who don’t have accounts with banks and other traditional financial institutions, or the regular income needed to borrow from such establishments.”

February 9, 2021

On the web

Value of Card Payments Down Sh6.4 Billion

Business Daily

“The value of payments made through cards last year dropped for the first time in six years amidst the lockdown measures and continued preference for mobile money services. Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows the value of payments through point of sale (POS) machines dropped by 3.8 percent in 2020 to Sh157.72 billion from Sh164.09 billion in 2019. This drop was a reverse from the 33.3 percent and 22.12 percent growth recorded in 2019 and 2018 respectively.”

January 21, 2021

On the web

Kenyan Banks Rattled As Mobile Payment Platforms Surge in 2020


“The Kenyan banking industry has reportedly lost around $11 million in revenue from card payments to telco mobile platforms in the last nine months With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, bringing with it a host of economic struggles, Kenya’s banks are feeling the strain. But this is not just a matter of fewer transactions taking place during this difficult period, but also the medium through which these transactions are being made.”

January 12, 2021

On the web

Kenya to Combine Cashless Payments With Covid Contact Tracing on Matatu Minibuses


“Passengers using Matatu minibus services in Kenya will no longer be able to pay their fares with cash once a digital fare collection system commissioned by the country’s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is rolled out. The NTSA invited tenders for the contract to develop a cashless payments service that would also incorporate Covid-19 contact tracing functionality in June 2020.”

November 30, 2020

On the web

Kenyan bank launches mobile payments service

International Comparative Legal Guides (ICLG)

“A partnership with a UK-based company will give Prime Bank customers in Kenya access to mobile payments. Nairobi-headquartered private bank Prime Bank has taken a further step into the fintech market by launching an international money transfer service, in collaboration with London-headquartered company SimbaPay. The service will allow customers to send money to bank accounts and mobile wallets in 15 countries, including Uganda, the United Kingdom, India, China and Germany.”

November 18, 2020

On the wires

O-CITY enters Kenya to drive contactless payments across Matatu bus service

O-CITY , the automated fare collection provider by BPC, today announces its initiative to drive contactless payments across bus services in Nairobi, Kenya. The O-CITY pilot, designed to reduce the use of cash in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, was launched in partnership with transport savings and credit specialists, NikoDigi, and Kenyan payments firm, Tracom, to accelerate the deployment of cashless fare collection. Used by 70% of the population in Kenya, Matatu buses are a dominant transport mode across the country whereby passengers traditionally pay in cash. O-CITY’s automated fare collection platform leverages the M-Pesa mobile wallet, which is used by 90% of the population in Kenya.”

September 25, 2020

On the web

Startup Bill 2020 to Benefit Startups with Majority Kenyan Ownership


“The Kenyan parliament has published a Startup Bill in its National Gazette. Among several interesting provisions, the government wants to create a number of incentives for startups as well as protection for intellectual property. The Startup Bill 2020 is sponsored by the Nairobi County Senator, Johnson Sakaja, and provides a framework for the development of innovative entrepreneurship, the establishment of incubation hubs, and for building a network of local and foreign investors.”

July 23, 2020

On the web

Kenya Is Doubling Down on Regulating Mobile Loan Apps to Combat Predatory Lending

Quartz Africa

“Digital lending companies operating in Kenya are set up for a shake-up. The country’s central bank is proposing new laws to regulate monthly interest rates levied on loans by digital lenders in a bid to stamp out what it deems predatory practices. If approved, digital lenders will require approval from the central bank to increase lending rates or launch new products.”

June 25, 2020

On the web

Kenya’s Central Bank Extends Mobile Payments Relief by Six Months


“Kenya will extend various relief measures on mobile phone payments that were introduced to help to curb the spread of the new coronavirus by a further six months, the central bank said on Wednesday. The East African country introduced the measures to encourage cashless payments on mobile phones because the government said avoiding the use of cash could help contain the spread of the virus. They included doubling of the daily transaction limits to 300,000 shillings in mid-March after the first case of COVID-19 was reported.”

February 13, 2020

On the web

Tech Startups Are Flooding Kenya With Apps Offering High-Interest Loans


“In Kenya, the first country where digital credit has gone mainstream, borrowers are learning that with financial inclusion comes financial risk. With dozens of apps offering short-term advances similar to payday loans, word of debt’s dangers is spreading from the office towers of Nairobi to the grasslands of Maasai Mara. People who once borrowed mainly from family and friends are now being bombarded with ads for quick money and calls from debt collectors. The market is largely unregulated, and there are no caps on interest rates.”

March 13, 2019

On the web

Safaricom, Alibaba Unit Agree Mobile-Payments Partnership


Safaricom Plc, Kenya’s biggest mobile operator, agreed a partnership with a unit of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. that will facilitate electronic payments.

The deal extends Safaricom customers’ ability to use its mobile-money service, known as M-Pesa, outside Kenya as the company looks to establish the system as a global platform. The firm has existing agreements with payments companies Western Union Co. and Paypal Holdings Inc.”

January 25, 2019

Top Post

Mobile money transactions equivalent of half of Kenya’s GDP

Payments Cards & Mobile

“Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows that mobile money transactions stood at Sh3.98 trillion ($38.5 billion) last year, having increased by Sh346 billion (10%) from 2017. This translates to an average value of Sh10.92 ($108 million) billion mobile cash transactions per day. n short, Kenyans moved nearly half the equivalent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) through their mobile phones last year, underlining the growing importance of digital wallets to the economy.”

Payments News

Give us your email address or link to our RSS feed and we’ll push the daily Payments News headlines to you.

Glenbrook Payments Boot camp®

Register for the next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp®

An intensive and comprehensive overview of the payments industry.

Train your Team

Customized, private Payments Boot Camps tailored to meet your team’s unique needs.

OnDemand Modules

Recorded, one-hour videos covering a broad array of payments concepts.

Glenbrook Press

Comprehensive books that detail the systems and innovations shaping the payments industry.