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Betika integrates M-Pesa payments into betting app

Sofapaka FC president Elly Kalekwa with Betika general manager Lucy Muchira when they unveiled a Sh50m sponsorship. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NMG
Sofapaka FC president Elly Kalekwa with Betika general manager Lucy Muchira when they unveiled a Sh50m sponsorship. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NMG 

Sports betting firm, Betika, has integrated mobile money service M-Pesa into its platform as it seeks to make it easier for users to place their bets.

The integration means customers will no longer have to toggle back and forth between the betting firm’s platform and the M-Pesa SIM card toolkit whenever they want to deposit or withdraw from its system.

The solution, which is available on both android and IOS systems, will be especially useful given that 90 per cent of Betika’s two million customers already use M-Pesa for their betting transactions.

“The new M-Pesa payment solution allows users on our mobile, USSD and online platforms to withdraw and deposit into their betting accounts without leaving the platform,” said Betika brand manager Patricia Wachira.

Betika, launched in 2016, is part of the growing mobile betting craze in the country that has driven up mobile money transactions.

Data from the Betting Control and Licensing Board, the industry regulator, shows that more than five million Kenyans are betting on their mobile phones.

Kenya has more than a dozen betting and gambling platforms and their rapid proliferation has partly been driven by the penetration of mobile phones, in general, and the ubiquity of mobile money, in particular.

Telcos have previously said that the betting industry is a major player in mobile money transactions. 

Communications Authority of Kenya data shows 28 million mobile subscriptions in June 2017, with Safaricom’s M-Pesa claiming the lion’s share of 22.6 million customers.

However, the growth of the betting industry has not been without pushback with legislators seeking to curtail growth through hefty sin taxes.

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