The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced the official completion of the separation of Airtel Money (AMKL) from Airtel Networks Kenya (ANKL). The mobile money industry has been part of the telecommunications industry for quite some time.
It seems that the new decision of telecom operators is to separate their mobile money activities from their network side. Safaricom will also separate M-Pesa from its network side by next year.
Both AMKL and ANKL are incorporated in Kenya as separate subsidiaries of Airtel as separate subsidiaries of Airtel Africa PLC. Artel Africa is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, operates in 14 African countries and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The new entity will be known as Airtel Money Kenya Limited. Welcoming the new changes, the Central Bank said Airtel’s journey to separate the two entities began in 2019. The completion of this restructuring enables Airtel Money Kenya Limited (AMKL) to close its operations and focus exclusively on its mobile money business.
Advantages of separation:
- Better governance of mobile money activities
- Strengthen Airtel Money operations
- Provide better services to customers
The Central Bank said that on January 21, 2022, it granted Airtel Money Kenya a license as a payment service provider (PSP) under the National Payments System Act 2011. The company was also granted a transition period to complete the transfer.
CBK says it has engaged PSPs to ensure that activities under CBK’s oversight are properly isolated from other business areas. This, according to the regulator, will enable PSPs to protect their CBK-regulated business from shocks emanating from other business activities, strengthen governance, improve resilience and focus on improving its services to customers.
This effort will facilitate the achievement of the National Payments Strategy 2022-2025 vision of a “secure, fast, efficient and collaborative payments system that supports financial inclusion and innovations that benefit Kenyans.”