Innovation has been at the forefront of development in Kenya, primarily through the integration of mobile telephony and retail financial services. Mobile payments have transformed the way financial services have been delivered in Kenya, through bringing a large number of ‘unbanked’ and ‘under banked’ 1 persons into the financial realm. These new technologies have almost always outpaced governments’ regulatory responses to them. The lack of specific legislation in this area has consequently left the Kenyan regulatory environment open to various risks to consumers. As mobile payments comprise both banking and telecommunications activities, differing perspectives exist on the appropriate regulatory framework as well as which authority should regulate it. To enhance the potential benefits from innovations in this area, governments need to make complementary adjustments to domestic banking and financial regulations by offering specific regulation for mobile payments. In so doing, certain questions should be asked in establishing a strong consumer protection regime as the mobile payments system has brought forth new entrants and various stakeholders. Among these questions include whether the stored value held in banks by consumers is a deposit, therefore subject to bank supervision, oversight and protection. Therefore this paper discusses consumer protection as a major justification for establishing a specific and appropriate regulatory framework for mobile payments in Kenya.
|Publication status||Published - 2013|