Mobile Payments Markets in Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe: A Comparative Study of Competitive Dynamics and Outcomes

16 January 2017

This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of the competitive dynamics in mobile payments markets and the implications for consumers. We do this by conducting a comparative review of market structure, competition dynamics and pricing in mobile payments markets in three African countries. The results show that, where there is a dominant incumbent, tariffs for mobile payments tend to be higher and reflect a wider gap between those for registered and unregistered customers. This is consistent with the predictions of economic theory in network industries and the incentives of incumbent operators to capture or tip the market in their favour, which also contributes to reducing switching by existing customers in the market for mobile services.