What will it take for Africa to drive US$5-trillion digital economy?

Africa's digital
opportunity

Continent's progress
under the spotlight.


Friday, Nov 15th

‘Mobile money security is Kenya’s next big challenge’

Mobile money security is Kenya’s next big challenge.

Attention needs to be paid to the security of mobile money systems in Kenya especially with the licensing of three virtual network operators in the country, say experts.

Kenya has the world’s largest mobile money market as the country is home to over 25 million users of the transfer system, according to the local telecoms regulator.

The system has become so entrenched in Kenyan financial life that the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) says 48% of the country’s citizens use mobile money to pay for key bills such as utilities.

But the mobile money market in Kenya is set to heat up after the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has licensed three mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs): Equity Bank’s FinServe, Zioncell and Mobile Pay.

The MVNOs are set to join Kenya’s largest player in the mobile money space, Safaricom, which says it has over 11 million users of its M-Pesa system.

And experts say that as more players enter the mobile money space, more focus must be shifted onto the security of these systems.

“Now that we have arrived at the $20 million mark it is clear that (mobile money transactions) are a major component of the Kenyan economy and they need to be secured,” Kyai Mullei, co-founder and chief executive officer of M-Changa, a mobile fundraising tool, told ITWeb Africa.

“Now when it comes to mobile money payments, there are really two forms of authentication that are needed. The first one is the personal identification number (PIN) for your phone and the second one is the PIN for your mobile money account,” Mullei said.

“What we expect to see in the in the next few months especially from the mobile money operators is that they will begin to secure your transactions by making you periodically change your phone PIN in order to guarantee you transaction is secure,” he added.

Mullei’s call comes as Kenya increasingly becomes a target for cybercriminals.

According to Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Keriako Tobiko, the East African country is losing Ksh 2 billion annually on cybercrime.

As a result, the DPP earlier this year set up a special dedicated unit that will handle all cyber-crime related cases in the country.

ALSO ON ITWEB AFRICA

Workonline launches Remote Cloud Connect services in Africa Published on 04 November 2019

Workonline Communications, has launched Remote Cloud Connect, facilitating access to cloud services for Workonline customers over a dedicated Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) service.

Metro Namibia Joins the Arch family Published on 14 November 2019

Arch Retail Systems is proud to announce the recent roll-out of their suite of products in the Metro Group in Namibia.

Workz, Econet partner to bring eSIM to Zimbabwe Published on 06 November 2019

IOT provider and network operator announce successful trials of virtual SIM for Zimbabwean subscribers.

Tariff increases unsettle Zimbabwe telecommunications firms Published on 05 November 2019

But analysts believe these service providers will be the least affected by increases passed on to consumers.