Subscribers to Airtel and Telkom will begin paying for goods and services using Safaricom’s Lipa na M-Pesa service this week.
Safaricom will launch the interoperability — the capacity of different IT systems to communicate and share data — of the two rival networks for merchant payments on Friday, April 6.
Telkom and Airtel teased the service on Twitter ealier today;
Regulators, led by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), have been pushing for a smooth transition to break up Safaricom mobile money service Lipa na M-Pesa’s supremacy which handled Sh970.2 billion in payments in the year to January.
Airtel’s version of merchant payments services is dubbed Lipa na Airtel Money, but it is used much less compared to Safaricom’s, a market position that is in line with its stake in the mobile money transfer service.
There are no details yet on the charges.
One Equity Till Number similarity
This is expected to work just like the ‘One Equity Till Number’ which is an enhanced centralised digital payment solution for merchants. With its interoperability feature, the new solution was a first of its kind in the Kenyan market.
Merchants on the platform are be able to receive payments from one single till number. So as a customer, you will be able to walk into a shop and pay – regardless of your payment means – to that one till number.
All the following wallets are supported on the One Equity Till Number:
- Airtel Money
- Equity Mobile
- QR code for M-VISA, Masterpass QR and UnionPay.
More on the story after the launch.