Amidst mobile money wars, which are in favour of Safaricom’s M-PESA. which owns 99 percent of the market share, Telkom Kenya’s T-Kash is likely prepping a loan product for its customers.
Named T-Kash Loan, the product can be seen in the product’s smartphone app, which also serves as a utility service for Telkom customers.
However, the loan product has not been activated yet, but the company says it will be ‘coming soon.’
This is an interesting product that will surely attract customers to T-Kash.
Kenyans are known for their appetite for mobile loans. Safaricom, for instance, offers loans through its M-PESA service threefold: through the overdraft facility Fuliza, KCB M-PESA, and M-Shwari. The products are powered by a mix of local banks (KCB, NCBA Kenya), and the telco.
Whether T-Kash Loan will be a collaborative effort between the telco and banks is something we will have to wait and see, but it is possible it will take that approach.
Both T-Kash and Airtel Money have been struggling to grow in the Kenyan market that is already cannibalized by M-PESA.
The issue has been on the radar of regulators and other related authorities. For instance, the Central Bank of Kenya compelled Safaricom to allow bill payment interoperability among itself, T-Kash, and Airtel Money. However, paybill services interoperability has not been activated.
A few years back, mobile money interoperability went live, meaning mobile money customers could send and receive cash regardless of their network. This, however, has not caught on since customers still prefer using M-PESA to M-PESA services.
There are plans to also allow agent interoperability, which will see customers using any mobile money wallet withdraw or deposit funds at any mobile money agent.
So far, Safaricom’s M-PESA leads in that space with more than 260K mobile money agents.
Airtel Money comes second with 22.8K agents, followed by T-Kash with 8.3K agents.