WrapUp: Our pick of main stories, Tuesday 20th January


This Tuesday has been characterised by key developments in Kenya’s tech scene. What with High Court stopping the airing of adverts sponsored by NTV, KTN, Citizen TV and QTV asking Kenyans to boycott GOtv’s and wait for their set top boxes; Safaricom widening its ‘Lipa Na M-Pesa’ net by targeting Nakumatt, Tuskys for Lipa Na M-Pesa and M-Shwari’s loans more than tripling to Kshs 24 billion in one year? Any, below is the complete wrap-up:

Court stops airing of advert advising viewers against GOtv, StarTimes decoders

The High Court has today issued orders barring four TV stations – NTV, QTV, KTN and Citizen – from airing messages warning viewers not to buy GOtv and StarTimes decoders pending the until the matter is heard. The court also asked that three (Royal Media Services Limited, Nation Media Group and Standard Group Limited) be served with the application to appear in court on February 2, 2015 when the case will be heard.

Safaricom targets Nakumatt, Tuskys for Lipa Na M-Pesa

Safaricom is set to sign up Tuskys and Nakumatt supermarkets as Lipa Na M-Pesa agents in a deal that brings two of Kenya’s biggest retail chains on the mobile phone based payment system.

Safaricom says it is already conducting trial runs for the service at three Tuskys outlets and is also in talks with Nakumatt on the matter.

The telco has already signed up Naivas and Uchumi, Kenya’s third and fourth biggest supermarket chains respectively, on the payments platform.

The four retailers have a combined turnover that could easily add up to more than Sh100 billion, indicating the lucrative commission income that Safaricom is eyeing.

M-Shwari lending more than triples to Kshs 24 billion in one year

M-Shwari loans grew by over three times in the past year, underlining the vast potential of mobile banking in the country.

Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), which runs the platform in partnership with Safaricom, said loans amounting to Sh24 billion had been borrowed through M-Shwari up from Sh7 billion in February last year.

Loans are offered at a flat rate of 7.5 per cent and are repayable within a month.

M-Shwari has attracted over nine million customers in the two years it has been operational, who have registered deposits in excess of Sh135 billion, added Mr Ngunze.

Orange mass market share grows in latest sector statistics

Integrated telecommunications solutions provider Orange has upheld its strong performance trend of 2014 into the first quarter of the 2014/15 sector evaluation period.

The Communications Authority of Kenya sector statistics report for the period July to September 2014; the first quarter of the 2014/2015 budgetary year, indicates that Orange is ahead of the market on key performance indicators such as growth of subscriber base and growth of cross network voice and SMS traffic.

 According to the report, the operator has grown its market share to 9.2 per cent, up from 8.3 per cent recorded in the previous quarter.

Gemalto’s EMV banking cards to complement Vodacom’s M-Pesa in South Africa 

Gemalto, provider of digital security solutions, has announced the deployment of prepaid EMV banking cards to complement Vodacom’s M-Pesa service in South Africa.

The card is certified by the major international payment schemes and accepted at any of the 240,000 EMV-compliant payment terminals and over 27,000 ATMs throughout the country, which will significantly extend the reach of the leading South African operator’s services.

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