Kenyan government to force audit of mobile money systems

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The Kenyan government will soon force the auditing of mobile money systems and financial institutions, to ensure that customers are protected from the increasing risk of cybercrime.

Ministry of Information and Communications permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo made the announcement last week while speaking at the East Africa Cyber Security Convention in Nairobi.

Ndemo said that most financial systems, including mobile money systems, have never been audited, causing doubt over their integrity.

As more and more Kenyans embrace technology in their day-to-day activities, cyber criminals are profiting from loopholes created by the new money systems and ignorance on the customer’s part. Ndemo said: "With no clear defined auditing rules for mobile money, and consumers not monitoring their accounts, these criminals could even go on for years before it is discovered." 

For this reason, the Ministry of Information and Communications is working with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to ensure that banks and mobile money service providers comply.

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has also created the Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre (KE-CIRT/CC), whose main mandate is to respond to computer security or cybersecurity incidents by providing necessary services, disseminating cybersecurity information and acting as a national focal in matters related to cybersecurity.

According to a report by consulting firm Deloitte earlier this year, banks lost over KSh6 billion (US$71.4 million) to fraudsters between 2011 and 2012. The Kenyan economy as a whole loses more than KSh3 billion (US$35.7 million) to cybercrime annually.

With mobile money transfers in Kenya between January and September this year standing at KSh1.117 trillion (US$13.5 billion), there is reason to ensure that the systems comply with the best security and integrity requirements possible to reduce or totally eradicate cybercrime.

KT Corp mulls Morocco move

South Korean telecoms operator KT Corp is reportedly interested in acquiring Vivendi’s 53% stake in the Moroccan firm Maroc Telecom, Reuters reports, citing ‘two people familiar with the situation’. 

Vivendi is hoping to raise up to EUR5.5 billion (USD7.15 billion) from the sale as the French group looks to exit some of its communications ventures to concentrate more on its media activities. 

Qtel of Kuwait, UAE-based Etisalat and the France Telecom-Orange group have already been linked with the Maroc Telecom stake. The Moroccan carrier is the country’s dominant fixed line and wireless operator in terms of subscribers, while it also has operations in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Mauritania.