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Telkom hangs up on Orange Money mobile service

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Newly rebranded Telkom has announced plans to discontinue its mobile money service Orange Money, which has struggled to gain market share in Kenya.

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 Telecom, which runs the Orange mobile brand.

“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.

See Also: Goodbye Orange: Telkom goes blue and yellow

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 market controlled by Safaricom M-Pesa platform.

Communications Authority of Kenya data shows Orange Money service moved Ksh80 million in the quarter to December 2016 and has a paltry 800 agents across the country.

Next Read: Managing young people, Chris Kirubi style

Part of the reason has been the fact that the Orange Money platform can only perform limited transactions, making it unfavourable in the market.

Sources, however, say the new owners plan to invest in a new mobile money transfer service.

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. Telkom has slightly over five million subscribers but will be using the rebrand to reposition itself in the market after years of missteps. (Copyright: CitizenTV)

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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