Telkom bets Sh1bn on mobile money system

Telkom bets Sh1bn on mobile money system

Mobile operator Telkom has invested Sh1 billion to re launch its mobile money platform as it makes a play to grow its market share in the country.

The investment comes as Telkom seeks to take on industry leader Safaricom in jostling for new customers.

This is the second attempt at operating a mobile money service after the firm terminated its Orange Money services last year as the new shareholders set out to overhaul the business.

Telkom chief executive officer Aldo Mareuse said the services dubbed T-Kash would look to leverage on the government’s plan to allow money transfer services between mobile operators to reach new customers.

“We began by investing Sh6 billion into our network modernization and infrastructure network. The new mobile money is founding on innovation. Telkom is investing on this platform to drive growth and mobile money sector and to foster inclusivity,” Mr Mareuse said.

According to the Communications Authority sector statistics ending September 2017, Safaricom has 27.8 million users on its M-Pesa platform.

Telkom director of mobile financial services Anuj Tannas said the money platform comes with unique variables that aim at luring more customers and taking a comfortable hold in a market segment.

“We have embedded transaction in each transaction itself. Before completing transactions customers will see what they will be charged. T-Kash we have eliminated till numbers as a way to transact. Instead we are introducing a new way to pay and withdraw using a unique, one time code that customers generate and present to an agent or merchant to complete a withdrawal or payment,” said Mr Anuj.

T-Kash customers can also send, buy and pay by saving the frequently used accounts as their favorite feature.

Telkom Chairman Eddy Njoroge used the launch to once again reach out to the government to level the playing field in the telecommunications sector.

Mr Njoroge said the communications regulator needed to implement recommendations from a study on how to boost competition in the sector.

“We hope that they will consider the long term interest of this industry and implement very quickly without fear of favor the recommendations however unpalatable thy may be to some of the players,” Mr Njoroge said.

Telkom has signed up 20,000 money agents countrywide to facilitate transactions and will be hoping for a quick roll out of the interoperability program.

“We are finalizing our testing with Safaricom so we hope that by the next few months we will be able to roll out the service,” Mr Mareuse said.

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