Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mpesa under threat as Tangaza money transfer service launched

 By Dan Muhuni
For the first time in the country, Kenyans can now run a mobile money account without necessarily owning a mobile phone.

This follows the launch of a new mobile money transfer service dubbed "Tangaza" by Mobile Pay Limited. It also enables one to directly buy or sell stocks at the Nairobi Stock Exchange, right from the mobile platform. Officially unveiling the new service, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Njuguna Ndung’u said the move will see many more Kenyans access mobile banking services cheaply and conveniently.

In contrast to conventional mobile money transfer services in existence, Tangaza operates across all four mobile networks in Kenya. OS anyone can u=se this service irrespective of the network(s) they have subscribed to.

Users can also register for accounts without necessarily having a mobile phone. They will, however, have to link the account with their SIM cards to allow accessing the account via the mobile phone.

"The service has already been piloted and seen it can work," Prof Ndung’u said. He said the mobile money transfer service in Kenya has so far witnessed massive economic benefits with subscribers across all the mobile networks standing at 15.4 million.

He said CBK will continue working with Communication Commission of Kenya, the Ministry of Information and other relevant authorities to ensure the mobile services are fraud free and cost-friendly. Statistics show that on the mobile money platform Sh2.45 billion a day is transacted daily.

Like other existing mobile money transfer services, the Tangaza Money Transfer lets people send and receive money instantaneously using their mobile phones or a personal digital assistant (PDA) held by an agent.

Recipients receive text messages when they are sent money and can collect it from any of its agents spread across the country. However, unlike other existing operators, the new system ensures subscribers register their details, photographs and fingerprints and thereafter are only required to place the finger on a finger print reader without necessarily having to produce an identity card.

As a security measure too, the subscribers register a unique pin (Personal Identification Number), for authorising transactions. This is expected to radically reduce transaction costs and guarantee better access to the illiterate and those who do not own mobile phones. In the existing mobile money transfer services subscribers are required to produce identification documents before they can be allowed to transact.

"Tangaza has the best security features locally due to the fact that we know our customers as we have all the identification details including their photograph and finger prints," said Mobile Pay’s Managing Director Oscar Ikinu. He said once registered, subscribers will not have to produce any identification document or mobile phones to withdraw.


  1. i hear about this service but cant see their agents in town...guess it would be quite helpful in emergency cases where the fone is lost, and one needs to chuck their money fast

  2. this make a good read and with the coming of mobile number portability, it will be the best.you can get more info at http://www.kungutiamwambia.blogspot.com/

  3. thumb up for tangaza but they need to spread in the markets, we need to see more tangaza outlets all over the country, more of market activations and road shows to create awareness of the service.
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