Airtel Zambia Tells Central Bank To Borrow From Kenya


Bharti Airtel is not happy with the maximum limit that the central bank of Zambia has imposed on the mobile money transfer service for telecommunications companies in the country and is now asking the bank to increase the limit.

Currently the Bank of Zambia allows for a maximum threshold of up to K5,000 (0.95 USD), which limits participation in the mobile money transactions for larger institutions and individuals wanting to take part in collaborations across the mobile money sector that continues to grow across Africa.

Airtel Zambia has now asked the bank to increase the maximum amount in order to help improve the capacity of service providers and in turn help grow the country’s economy by increasing remittances from the mobile sector.

The Head of mobile money at Airtel in the country has told the bank to borrow a leaf from Kenya, which records the best performance in mobile money adoption and the increase in mobile solutions in countries across Africa.

According to the Head, Brenda Thole, the success seen in Kenya has been as a result of the large threshold in mobile money transfers that the country enjoys as a provision form the Central Bank of Kenya, which does not put limits to the mobile wallets.

Due to the lack of limitation in transactions, Airtel Kenya is able to achieve about 2 Billion Dollars in mobile money transactions while the sister company Airtel Zambia is only able to move about K400 million (USD 76,000) in transactions, with any hope to grow the numbers being thwarted by the maximum limitation.

With the penetration of mobile devices across Africa growing everyday and mobile money taking the continent by storm and improving the lives of people who hardly have enough income to be able to manage bank accounts, the government of Zambia does need to intervene for the mobile money sector.

Support for the mobile money sector in the country is also very minimal, with the government doing very little for the industry, leading to Airtel’s worry in the growth of its subscriber base who can only be grown through encouragement and education on the services.

The telco also believes that increasing the maximum threshold will help bring in to the service new corporate clients, which in turn would increase capacity of service providers.

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