Why CBK Rejected Bankers’ Mobile Money Transfer

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge. Photo/Courtesy

Adapted from Business Daily Africa

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has directed banks to cut by half the time Kenyans take to transact on the lenders’ mobile money transfer platform, PesaLink, from the current 20 seconds before launch.

CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), representing 43 lenders, had initially pegged their mobile money transaction time at 40 seconds, which it deemed too slow.

This prompted the financial regulator to direct the lenders to recalibrate their system for faster transactions as a condition for rollout.

“We had this group of banks approach us with their mobile money transfer product. We asked them how long it will take to transact and they said 40 seconds. We send them back to cut the time. They came back with 20 seconds. We send them back again. The transaction time should be less than 10 seconds,” Dr Njoroge told participants at the just concluded Africa CEO forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

He was one of the panelists during the financial services session dubbed, Retail, banking, telecoms: the Fintech effect.

The directive will now send the commercial banks back to the drawing board, a move that could further delay the planned launch.

“They have to get their act together first before launch. Why should a simple transaction take 20 seconds?” Asked Dr Njoroge.

The KBA had planned to launch the service last August.

In February, six banks finally got the CBK’s greenlight, effectively putting them on the PesaLink platform, and the number grew to 23 lenders last week.