Telkom Kenya to terminate Orange Money service
Telkom Kenya has announced plans to discontinue its mobile money service Orange Money which has struggled to gain a footing in the country.
The move comes months after the telecom operator was acquired by UK based private equity firm Helios which plans to overhaul the entire mobile money system.
The termination of the service is also part of an agreement following the purchase of the company from France based Orange.
“Dear customer, in 30 days, Orange Money services will no longer be available and will not be accessible via the SMS menu and *144#,” Telkom said in a notice to its customers.
Telkom subscribers, who will still have their funds on the services from the July 5, will be required to withdraw the same from any Equity Bank branch.
Orange Money has struggled against bigger players in the mobile money transfer money.
Communications Authority data shows that the service moved Sh80 million in the quarter to December 2016 and has a paltry 800 agents across the country.
Part of the reason has been the fact that the Orange Money platform can only perform limited transactions, making it unfavorable in the market.
Sources however intimate the new owners plan to invest in a new mobile money transfer service that will be launched sometime in July.
The decision to overhaul its system is timely for Telkom as the industry is set for interoperability, with operators able to share the mobile money infrastructure.
The move by Telkom Kenya comes ahead of its corporate re launch on Tuesday with the operator’s management set to unveil a strategy of competing with industry rivals Safaricom and Airtel Kenya.
Telkom has slightly over five million subscribers but will be using the revamp to re position itself in the market after years of missteps.