Kenya’s third largest telecoms operator by market share, Telkom Kenya has taken a decision to shut down its Mobile Money service in the country saying the product cannot keep up with the current competition.
The decision by Telkom however does not signify an exit from mobile money financial services as it will be replaced by a new service.
“Telkom Kenya is shutting down Orange Money on July 4th 2017, during the next 30 days you will still be able to normally transact on Orange Money Services. Telkom Kenya is implementing a new and improved Mobile Money service. In order to facilitate this, we will be shutting down the existing Orange Money service to pave the way for the new, exciting product and services.” The company said in a statement on its website.
The company said its working with its mobile money partners to ensure that its customers are not adversely affected.
“Any funds that are still with Orange Money after July 4th 2017 will be available/accessible through your linked Equity Bank account which will be accessible at Equity Bank ATMs, Equity Bank Branches and Equity Agents. The Orange Money SIM menu will be no longer be accessible from your mobile phone as of July 5th, 2017.” said the company.
In an interview with the Business Daily in April, Telkom Kenya CEO Aldo Mareuse said, “The current platform does not even allow the core products that M-Pesa has and obviously does not allow us to go further, which is what we want.”
Launched in 2009, the mobile money platform was ranked fourth in market share behind Airtel Money, Equitel and M-Pesa according to the latest report by the Communications Authority of Kenya. Orange mobile money platform attracted just 194,000 users as at December last year.
Telkom is 60 percent owned by Africa focused PE firm Helios Investments while the remaining 40 percent stake is owned by the Kenyan Government.