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Telkom to link mobile cash platform to banks

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A subscriber holds a Telkom SIM card. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Telkom Kenya is in the process of integrating its mobile money service, T-Kash’s systems with local commercial banks to allow customers to send and withdraw money from their accounts, increasing competition in the mobile money service.

Telkom Kenya chief executive Mugo Kibati said the technology company is working with Integrated Payments Services Limited (IPSL), a secure electronic payment company owned by Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) to link T-Kash and bank accounts.

IPSL systems enable direct transfer of funds from one account to another using a central switch. It also supports person-to-person transactions anchored on a central switch linking all local banks and providing interoperability of retail payments.

T-Kash is already allowing the sending and withdrawals with KCB and Stanchart.

"In addition to access to merchants, we want to make sure that you can access your account from T-Kash to and fro. We are working first of all with the banking switch, IPSL, and also directly with banks where you can access your account from T-Kash. The idea is to have all banks in short order connected to T-Kash,” Mr Mugo said.

“You will see a lot more of the banks coming on board hopefully over the next year.”

This comes after the firm announced to launch of a mobile loans service, giving Telkom Kenya customers access to instant microcredit via their mobile phones.

The loan product will be in partnership with a financial institution, which Mr Mugo failed to disclose saying the plan was in the "early exploratory stage."

Linking of T-Kash to local banks will see the mobile money service offer broader services apart from withdrawal at agents and sending money across different operators, and payment of commodities and services.

Safaricom has been dominant in the mobile money space with connection to commercial banks, investment and saving solutions platforms and

Telkom is also pushing for access to M-Pesa paybills to make its platform fully operational.

In April, Airtel and Telkom Kenya subscribers were allowed to pay for goods and services through Safaricom’s till number, but their access to Safaricom’s paybills was delayed until next year.

“Over the next six months, we want to make sure it's not just till numbers but paybill access so that T-Kash becomes a fully functional, fully interoperable, fully accessible mobile money platform, from any bank account and from any operator line,” Mr Mugo said.

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