With the growth of mobile money services in Kenya and around a few African countries it is only natural for any company with the financial muscle to try and make a play in this growing market. To put things into perspective, Safaricom reported that M-Pesa’s revenue in the last financial year was 63 billion shillings, a 14-percent year-on-year growth. Mobile loan apps have also been on the rise, with reports indicating that over 12.1 million Kenyans rely on mobile apps for loans.
A quick look at M-Shwari, which was the first app of this kind, shows that the service has disbursed over 230 billion shillings since its inception back in 2012. These impressive numbers are probably what have pushed Transsion – the company that owns TECNO, Infinix, itel and a number of other companies dealing with electronics, to venture into the mobile money space.
We have evidence in our possession that Transsion, through a joint venture with NetEase – a Chinese Internet technology company is prepping to launch a service by the name PalmPay, under a newly registered company, Transsnet Payment Limited. According to Transsnet’s documentation, they describe themselves as a company that develops financial services for the mobile generation in Africa and aim to reach 100 million users within the next 3 years.
What we know so far is that PalmPay will offer mobile loans as well as a payments platform that will allow users to send money to each other, pay for bills and buy airtime. Additionally, there’s a mention of PalmPoints, which is some form of loyalty program to keep the customers engaged with the product.
We can predict that Transsion will use its smartphone market share to push PalmPay to its consumers. This is to say that PalmPay will come pre-installed on all Transsion-owned smartphone brands and with human curiosity, user conversion rate might be off the roof.
We are curious to know how well Transsion will fare in this market and what kind of “service charge” they will impose on their mobile loans. PalmPay will likely launch in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania before taking root in other African markets.