By FREDRICK OBURA
Pressure to remain afloat among telecommunication companies is keeping chief executive officers (CEOs) awake.
They are being drawn into new strategies to boost revenue.
The options include a bulk payment through the mobile money transfer services.
Orange and Safaricom are exploring partnerships with social payment organisations and several institutions to transform their services from the ordinary cash transaction to bulk payments.
“In Kenya, 47 per cent of all money transfer services are currently carried out using mobile phones as opposed to conventional payment channels such as clearing houses, bank branches, automated teller machines (ATMs) and money transfer services such as Western Union,” says Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mikael Ghossein.
“The drive, which has seen us partner with various firms and organisations, including Equity Bank, Care Kenya, with a new licensing payment under development with the Nairobi City Council,”adds Ghossien.
“This is part of a strategy to focus on mobile payments as opposed to mobile money transactions.” According to Ghossien, the bulk payments strategy is in recognition of the fact that mobile Money platforms are like bank account
“Bulk payment is an interesting model for Orange as it enhances the population’s access to financial services in the country,” said Ghossien.
“We are considering working with other banks, but so far equity has the widest coverage though the Orange Money platform will in the future be opened to other banks.”
The Orange Money platform is being used to pay Telkom Kenya staff.
It is also used to transfer of pension funds for the over 10,000 members Teleposta Saving and Cooperative Societies. Customers can access funds from 500 Equity bank ATMs located at 120 branches and over 3,500 agent outlets.
“The main challenge is the number of agents and the limited number of point of sale (POS) facilities. That is why we’ve positioned our service as an m-payment and not an m-transaction solution,” stated Ghossein.