Central Bank of Kenya to Start Auditing Mobile Money Transactions
The Central Bank will now start monitoring money transfer transactions to ensure that the platforms are secure. Communications Permanent secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo said the mobile money transfer platforms could easily fall victim of the ongoing cyberspace crime if left unchecked. Dr. Ndemo said CBK will conduct annual reviews of all the transactions to ensure that the systems are not abused.
Speaking at the Africa Mobile Money Research conference, the PS said securing mobile money transactions has been a key challenge for the government. “We are working on a regulatory framework to prevent cases of hacking,” he said.
Dr. Ndemo disclosed that the process of digitalizing all government registries was ongoing, a move which he said would make transactions more efficient.
“Mobile penetration in Kenya has risen to an impressive 70%. We now want to start providing services in public offices through mobile platforms. This will help us in cutting down on cases of corruption since all transactions will be easily traceable.”
Speaking at the conference, Prof Tavneet Suri from Massachusets Institute of Technology, USA, however called on the government to ensure that it had a reliable backroom system before going on-line.
“Kenyans are now able to pay for their utilities through mobile platforms as a result of players in the private sector investing in reliable systems. The same can be achieved by the government seamlessly.”
She called upon the government to create institutions that protect knowledge to encourage Kenyans to develop innovative mobile money applications. Prof Suri lauded the speed of adoption of mobile money transfer in Kenya saying the country should now roll-out other applications that will facilitate transactions for the low income groups.
The two day meeting organized by the University of Nairobi has brought together researchers and industry players from Africa, USA, Europe, Australia and India to seek ways of rolling out more relevant mobile applications that will boost financial transactions at lower income level groups.
“Despite Kenya enjoying much success in the mobile money applications, the uptake has been limited to money transfer only. We would like to find out why we are not experiencing similar enthusiasm in embracing other mobile money applications from research,”
said Prof Timothy Waema, the conference Chairman.
Academicians are blaming the slow uptake of mobile applications on a knowledge gap between the industry and consumers. Despite having more than 15 million customers in Kenya with access to mobile phone applications, 99% use the service only to send money while only a paltry one percent carry out financial transactions through mobile money platforms. “There are many innovations out there buy they are not being scaled down to the users appropriately. We need to bridge this gap by synchronizing our expertise,” said Prof Waema.