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The Association of Micro finance Professionals of Kenya in conjunction with Grameen Foundation held a Mobile Money Breakfast meeting on the 12th November 2010 at the Fair view Hotel.

The event attracted a diverse representation of the local micro-finance practitioners; including the small, the medium and the large micro-finance institutions. The function dubbed Mobile Money Breakfast turned out to be one of the most successful events under the AMPK calendar of the year 2010.

Mr. David Kitusa, the Acting C.E.O AMPK, opening the breakfast.

The meeting kicked off at 7.30 AM and was opened by the Acting C.E.O of AMPK, Mr. David Kitusa. He welcomed the members and gave a brief introduction about AMPK and took the opportunity to explain to the participants the difference between the role of AMPK and AMFI (Association of Micro-finance Institutions), pointing out that AMPK is an individual based micro finance association whereas AMFI is an institutional Membership Association. He emphasized that AMFI is fully aware of the existence of AMPK as well as the duties that the association carries out and according to AMPK the two institutions have separate roles to play within the micro-finance industry. In fact, according to David, the two institutions have complimentary roles rather than competing ones.

Mr.Tonny Omwansa a PHD student and a lecturer at Strathmore University gave a high level presentation on the success, challenges, current and future opportunities that are presented by the emergence of the mobile banking industry.

Please download the presentation of Tonny Omwansa here.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Elizabeth Berthe, the Director Mobile Financial Services at Grameen Foundation was the moderator of the event. She picked up after Tonny and led an highly interactive session where members were asked to share their experiences of the mobile money transfer service that they are using in their organizations and the impact of the services.

Members were also requested to share the challenges of the services and the measures they are putting in place to make the Mobile Money transfer successful.

The C.E.O, KWFT, Mr. Mwangi giving his recommendations during the event. Madam Elizabeth of Grameen Foundation looks on.

Some of the challenges pointed out during the function included:

Core banking system challenges such as T.24 and Finacle. The integration of platforms between the mobile phone service providers and the core banking system was one of the main challenges the institutions are facing in managing mobile money service.

The second main challenge that was pointed out was the reconciliation problems and receipting problems for the monies that have been sent through the mobile money transfer. Equity Bank came out strongly as one institution whose system (Finacle) has been an effective system in managing and fully integrating the mobile money services.

Again the cost of transactions of the Money Payment through M-Pesa and Zap against the cost of travelling to the bank to deposit the money especially in loans repayment was discussed at length. Most institutions pointed to the fact that the breakdown on the receipts was mandatory for effective posting of savings and loan repayments to the customers’ accounts.

Madam Jane Kimani ( Consultant at Grameen Foundation),and Mr. Kitusa listens attentively to the proceedings.

Some of the recommendations that were made to improve the mobile money service in the micro-finance institutions included:

Collaboration between the players in the micro-finance industry especially in research and systems development considering the cost involved, challenges experienced especially in the implementation and also the successes that comes with new systems. Mr. Mwangi, the CEO of Kenya Women Finance Trust emphasized the importance of this (collaboration) saying this will add a lot of value not only in the mobile money transfer service but also to the micro-finance industry in general.

Other recommendations brought up in the meeting were to join hands as micro-finance industry practitioners together with mobile phone service providers to develop an interface that can easily integrate with other banking systems.

The Chairman of AMPK, Mr. Benson Kimithi (seated on the right), together with the acting C.E.O listening attentively

Ms Elizabeth informed the attendants that Grameen Foundation was committed to providing the necessary working environment as well as support in research and development with the aim of adding value and enhancing the general success of the micro finance industry locally, regionally and Africa as a whole.

Madam Elizabeth of Grameen Foundation, the Moderator of the event.

Equity Bank IT Manager during the breakfast. Equity bank came out strongly as an institution that has effectively integrated the Mobile Money Service with their Core banking system- the finacle.

The meeting finally came to an end at about 11:30 PM after a vote of thanks that was given by the chairman of AMPK- Mr. Benson Kimithi.

During the vote of thanks, Benson pointed out that AMPK is committed to continue to play a key role in organizing and coordinating similar events so as to enhance stronger networks among peers and build an Open and honest industry.

Mr. Shadrack Choge-The Head of IT, K-Rep Bank sharing on the way forward on the mobile money service.

The following institutions were represented in the breakfast meeting:

  • Opportunity Kenya
  • Equity Bank
  • KEEF
  • Kenya E-CLOF
  • K-Rep Bank
  • SMEP
  • Juhudi Kilimo
  • KWFT
  • Micro Kenya
  • Strathmore University
  • AMPK
  • Grameen Foundation

The event would not have been possible if it was not for the hard work, sacrifice and precision by Grameen Foundation’s Programs Consultant Jane Kimani who coordinated all the logistical issues.

Madam Jane Kimani, ( Consultant at Grameen Foundation) having a chat with Mr. Mwangi ( K.W.F.T) after the event.