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CA approves Equity Bank to enter mobile money market

23 September 2014, 09:33 Nechesa Chemoi

Nairobi - The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Monday authorized Equity Bank to enter the mobile money market using the thin SIM technology.

Recently CA licensed three Application Service Providers to offer Mobile Virtual Networks Operators services.

The operators proposed to use this mobile platform to provide various application services, including mobile money transfer, a move that was challenged by Safaricom, on account that the dual use of the overlay SIM alongside any other on GSM handsets may cause interruption and interception of communication.

The operator further claimed that the dual use of overlay SIM may introduce vulnerabilities in the network as well as infringing on intellectual property rights.

Also read: Kenya boasts high mobile money potential

The complaint was considered by the CA in coordination with the Central Bank of Kenya and a report on the findings showed that there were no major complaints and particularly on interception of traffic of the primary SIM card that was reported during the investigation.

“There is no sufficient evidence to block in the Kenyan market the entry of the thin SIM,” CA Chairman Ngene Gituku said in a statement.

However, the Authority will allow the use of thin SIM technology under strict observation for a period of one year.

“During the one year testing period, if any vulnerability is discovered from the use of thin SIM card, then operations of the SIM card in the Kenyan market will cease.

“Operators intending to use the thin SIM for mobile money transfer must obtain authorization from the Central Bank of Kenya,” added Gituku in the statement.

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