The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will launch a national payment system that will force Safaricom  to accept cash from rival firms such as Airtel on its Lipa na M-Pesa, enabling a seamless transfer of money through merchants. The new system, to be introduced by 2024, will remove the hurdle where Airtel subscribers, for example, cannot pay for goods and services through Safaricom’s till and pay-bill numbers.

The move is aimed at curbing the dominance of Safaricom’s mobile money service and Lipa na M-Pesa, which handled payments worth Sh970.2 billion in the year to last month.

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. The CBK said the increased use of mobile money at agents and merchants through platforms like Lipa na M-Pesa had been constrained by lack of interconnection among the telecommunications operators…Business Daily

Safaricom  is set to pay an interim dividend of Sh25.64 billion equivalent to Sh0.64 per share. The dividend will be 42.44 percent higher or Sh7.64 billion more compared to a year earlier when it paid a first-ever interim dividend of Sh18 billion equivalent to Sh0.45 per share.

The telco said it will pay the interim dividend on or about March 31 to shareholders on record as of March 17.

“The board of Safaricom is pleased to announce that at its meeting that was held on February 24, 2022, it was resolved to approve payment of an interim dividend of Sh0.64 per ordinary share held amounting to Sh25.6 billion,” Safaricom said in a statement.

The National Treasury will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the surprise dividend announcement and will get a gross payout of Sh8.9 billion for its 35 percent stake in the country’s most profitable firm…Business Daily

There were ugly scenes in the House on Thursday as MPs raised the debt ceiling to Sh12 trillion to finance the government’s Sh3.33 trillion budget for the 2022/23 financial year.

This was, however, done with the caveat that the National Treasury proposes amendments to the Public Finance Management regulations to expand the ceiling to Sh12 trillion…NATION MEDIA


Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) investors Thursday lost Sh92.43 billion as prices dived on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the middle of trading.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine, triggering panic sell-off of stocks by foreign investors to seek shelter in other investment options such as fixed income. Safaricom and banks led in the decline, pulling down the total value of all stocks on the NSE to Sh2.453 trillion—the lowest in about three months. NSE was last at this level on December 7.The decline was from Sh2.53 trillion the market closed with on Wednesday, with the NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo linking the dip on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine…Standardmedia

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