Case Study

Competition in Mobile Financial Services: Lessons from Kenya &Tanzania

Insights on the role that effective competition and competition policy play in developing MFS

Mobile financial services (MFS) are the main drivers of financial inclusion in many developing countries; they provide low-income consumers with access to transfers, payments, and increasingly more complex products such as credit, savings, and insurance. MFS channels can provide the advantages of convenient, secure, and cost-efficient product offerings to consumers. In several markets, MFS have in turn helped to significantly increase the portion of the population with access to formal financial services.

This working paper aims to provide insights on the role that effective competition and competition policy play in developing MFS, and in turn promoting financial inclusion using Kenya and Tanzania as case countries. The aim is to have two distinct, but complementary products:

1. To identify and, where appropriate, contrast the competition issues of MFS in Kenya and Tanzania. This will offer insights on how effective competition might be improved to make markets work well and, in turn, increase financial inclusion and consumer welfare.

2. Draw on the experiences of Kenya and Tanzania to highlight to policy makers and regulators in more nascent MFS markets the aspects of competition policy they may wish to monitor or investigate as their own MFS markets develop.

The primary target audiences are competition authorities and other regulatory bodies who have both the expertise and the power to effect such changes, while acknowledging that capacity constraints can often be restrictive in identifying and mitigating competition issues in MFS.

About this Publication

By Mazer, R., Rowan, P.