Airtel Users Still Won't Access Money From MPESA Agents

Amidst the excitement surrounding mobile money interoperability to be launched soon in Kenya, Airtel users now realize it is not as rosy as they thought.
Airtel Money customers will still be unable to withdraw cash from Safaricom’s M-Pesa agents and vice-versa even as the two leading telecoms firms move to enable smooth transfer of funds across networks under the interoperability platform that goes live on Tuesday.
The second largest telco in Kenya said it still expects customers to withdraw money from agents of the respective networks because “agent interoperability is not available.”

“It all means that when an Airtel Money customer sends money to an M-Pesa customer, the account balance of the M-Pesa customer will be updated instantly and the M-Pesa customer can either go to an M-Pesa agent to withdraw the funds or use it in other mobile cash transactions,” said Airtel.

The telecoms operators said on Friday that the objective of interoperability is to ease cash transfer.
On the other hand, Safaricom stated that the service on both networks will initially be available on USSD (short code) rather than within the apps.
“Subscribers on the Safaricom network will need to use a short code to send money, as opposed to sending money to other M-Pesa subscribers via Sim Toolkit or the Safaricom App,” Safaricom said.

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