Telkom and Airtel subscribers can now make direct mobile money payments to any of Safaricom’s M-Pesa Pay Bill numbers.

This is after the two Kenyan mobile network operators on Friday signed a deal that will see the platform owned and operated by Safaricom be opened to other network providers.

This follows an announcement by the three telcos in April, which allowed Kenyans to make mobile money payments to M-Pesa Buy Goods and Services Tills from other networks.

The interoperability of the mobile money service platforms seeks to allow Kenyans to make direct mobile money payments to any M-Pesa merchant Pay Bill Number and Merchant Tills from any network to boost cashless payments.

In the next phase in the journey to complete merchant interoperability, Safaricom users will be able to make mobile money payments from M-Pesa to the Till and Pay Bill Numbers of Airtel Money and T-kash.

This complements the National Payments Strategy 2022 – 2025 launched by the Central Bank of Kenya in February towards achieving a secure, fast, efficient and collaborative payments system that supports financial inclusion and innovations that benefit Kenyans.

“From our interactive sessions with our customers we have taken note that Kenyans appreciate mobile money solutions better when they keep on finding more reasons to attach value to their mobile wallets, whether they are sending money, paying for goods and services, saving, borrowing or trading.

“The announcement made today, on Pay Bill interoperability, brings us closer to realising a cashless economy, further enhancing a seamless digital transactions ecosystem that gives the consumer more convenience and choice. Our customers will first be able to access this exciting addition via USSD *160#,” said Telkom Kenya CEO, Mugo Kibati.

Safaricom CEO, Peter NDEGWA added, “Today's launch of Pay Bill interoperability between M-PESA, Airtel Money and T-Kash, follows that of 'Send Money' and Till interoperability. This innovation extends even more convenience to customers and businesses, transforming M-PESA into a one-stop solution to send and receive money and payments from any financial service locally, and our global partners."

And in conclusion, Airtel Kenya CEO, Ashish Malhotra, indicated, “We are excited to be part of this change that seeks to provide Kenyans with an affordable, convenient and secure cashless payments platform that will provide more options that empower customers as they go about their day-to-day economic activity. Our customers can access this service via USSD *222# or *334#.”

The interoperability announcement was made at Muguga Green Primary School in Westlands, Nairobi.