Kenya, home of the wildly successful M-Pesa, is set to get a new mobile money service - run by a JV company owned by the country's government and France Telecom - by the end of the year.
M-Pesa claims over nine million customers for its money transfer service and has recently moved to widen its range of products, partnering Equity Bank to offer subscribers an interest-bearing savings account called M-Kesho.
Last year Middle East and African telco Zain entered the market with Zap, allowing customers to use their mobiles to pay bills and for goods and services, make peer-to-peer payments, manage bank accounts, withdraw cash and top-up and transfer airtime to others.
Now, the government-France Telecom JV, Telkom Kenya, is making a move with Orange Money. The firm has partnered with a "main" local bank on the service that will enable users to send money from abroad, carry out electronic banking, and pay for goods and services online, as well as transfer funds locally.
Orange Money will offer a "much richer product" than its rivals when it is launched at the end of the year, according to its head, Snehar Shah, quoted by Bloomberg.
Telkom Kenya Plans to Start Mobile-Money Services By Year-end - Bloomberg