US raises alarm over Kenya’s mobile money transfer

Kenya's mobile money transfer services could be a risk to international security (image: stock.xchng)

The United States government has raised alarm over the security challenges Kenya’s mobile money transfer services could bring, saying that its success could pose a risk to international security.

Based on this concern, the US is currently in talks with the Kenyan government on how to employ measures to guard against high-tech-criminals.

Chris Painter, an official of the US government said in Nairobi that the availability of smartphones globally and the increase in new mobile apps could attract criminal syndicates specialized in hacking, saying that it could be a blow to the war against cybercrime and terrorism.

“Around the world people are using phones more and more for Internet and online payments. Kenya has been the leader in mobile banking and online payments, and criminals are not left out, they have become so sophisticated and they will see take advantage of this development,” Painter said.

Speaking at the same function in Nairobi, dubbed ‘East Africa Workshop on Cyberspace Security’, Information Minister Samuel Poghisio said the M-Pesa service offered by Safaricom has so far attracted about 16 million users .

“A rapid response team and necessary laws are required to safeguard investments made in mobile platforms,” he said.

Brian Adero