T-kash new mobile money competitor to M-PESA, Airtel launched after two years in production


Telkom Kenya has launched a new mobile money service dubbed “T-kash” after two years in production following the recent axing of Orange Money to even playing field to M-PESA and Airtel Money.

A digital transformation journey that Telkom partook in to transition from Orange.

“Mobile money is in existence in the market but we are at a critical juncture as Telkom, realizing that we want to invest in the mobile money proposition to give our customers better value and also saying now based on what our customers are telling us and what we see in the market what can we do differently. We had to rethink mobile money a little,” said Anuj Tanna, Director-Mobile Financial Services at Telkom.

T-kash has an innovative feature, one which its competitors will have to rethink;

The T-kash code is a one-time eight-digit code that subscribers will use to withdraw cash from an agent or ATM as well as to buy goods and services which is set to reduce the hustle and bustle of the withdrawals and making payments processes.

The T-kash code, which is valid for 10 minutes, is generated free-of-charge upon initiating the withdrawal transaction, which is presented to any agent in exchange for cash, or keyed into the ATM. This eliminates need for an agent number for withdrawal or till number to buy goods and services.

The company also stated that an addition of the one-time code, users will also be able generate the code to other T-kash users to withdraw money or buy goods services.

“With this service, we are offering a viable alternative mobile money service to our customers. Value, convenience and security as well as reliability are at the core of our proposition. This is what our customers are asking for in a mobile money service. Consistently innovating to meet our customers’ dynamic needs is part of our DNA at Telkom,” Telkom CEO Aldo Mareuse.

Telkom has already signed up 20,000 agents across the country to facilitate transactions and the number is set to grow in the coming months to ensure the telco’s users can access the service readily.

Existing Telkom subscribers can sign up for T-kash after registration at an authorised agent, upon which the service menus will be shared. The T-kash menu can be accessed through USSD *160# and the SIM tool kit.

In order to facilitate transactions, T-kash users can save up to five contacts of individuals, billers and bank accounts that they frequently transact with, within the platform. They can also invite other Telkom subscribers to sign up; besides buying airtime and Internet bundles. It is also possible to transfer money to bank accounts and between T-kash wallets.

The Telkom CEO added: “Ultimately, we want to deliver real value. The T-kash system is based on more advanced technology that is not only simple but also more flexible and secure”.

With the launch of T-kash, customers will receive a 25% bonus upon purchase of airtime. T-kash customers will also get double entries upon the same airtime purchase; entries to the current consumer promotion being run by Telkom, dubbed “FormNi50”   where winners walk away with a new Toyota Belta, every day till the 25th of April.

The promotion is in line with Safaricom’s customer reward campaign dubbed Lipa Na M-PESA Cash Back Promotion as part of the company’s strategic intent to bolster the usage of the Lipa Na M-PESA for retail purchases running for the next months.

According to data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows mobile payments were the most preferred mode of cashless payment in the country in December 2017, accounting for 88% of such transactions.

Kenya is a leader in the mobile money services area and has been credited for deepening financial access. There are currently 28.2 million mobile money subscribers. M-Pesa has the largest share, with 22.8 million subscribers, or 80 per cent market share. Equitel, run by Equity Bank’s Finserve, is a distant second with 6.8 per cent share (1.9 million), while Mobikash has a 6.3 per cent share (1.77 million). Airtel has over time slipped and had a share of 5.8 per cent as of September, with 1.6 million customers.

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