An interoperability model for mobile money transfer systems in Kenya
Maina, Gichangi Peter
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Mobile money transfer systems have grown in use, spread and reach over the last couple of years. Multiple platforms have been developed to deliver these mobile money transfer services. In Kenya, for example, at least four different mobile money systems exist. These systems have in fact evolved into financial services tools for both the banked and the unbanked by allowing users to fulfill multiple functions using their virtual money. However, little has been done to define standards that would allow seamless integration and interoperability of the disparate platforms. This has exposed users to various challenges, denied them flexibility and choice and has cost the service providers an obvious opportunity. This study sought to examine the impact interoperability, or lack thereof, on customer behavior as regards use of mobile money transfer services in Kenya. The descriptive research methodology was espoused for this study. It involved the application of questiom1aires and structured interviews to selected groups of people as samples. The two primary groups were mobile money system users and mobile money transfer service providers. Data was gathered to assess the nature of use of the systems for peer-to-peer money transfer transactions between scheme and non-scheme members. Based on the findings of the research, an inter-operability model that would support seamless integration between the systems was designed. The research recommends that mobile money service providers and other industry players adopt and implement the mobile money transfer interoperability model proposed so as to enhance the customer experience and enhance their product offering.