Phone maker Tecno to launch mobile money service in Kenya

Tecno outdoor banners along Luthuli Avenue, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Tecno Mobile the subsidiary of Transsion Holdings, the Shenzhen, China-based phone maker will launch a new mobile wallet service in Kenya to allow its customers to make payments to small businesses and retailers.

Tecno on Thursday said the wallet, which will turn its phones into payment terminals, will be unveiled mid this month.

It is being introduced through strategic partnerships with unnamed third-party financial institutions.

“Tecno will be available for download on selected existing device series and will come pre-installed on new Tecno smartphones, including the upcoming CAMON 19 series set to be unveiled in June 2022,” the multinational said in a statement.

“The wallet has pilot launched in Nigeria in May, and roll-out to Kenya in middle of June.

“The future launches will include Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Code d’Ivoire and Senegal in the second half of 2022.”

The phone manufacturer is eyeing the mobile money service to grow sales of its devices besides diversifying into financial services.

Apart from shopping, the wallet will allow users to pay for data, airtime and bills.

Tecno had not responded to the Business Daily's queries by press time concerning the identities of the financial institutions involved in facilitating the payments through the mobile phone in a market dominated by Safaricom’s M-Pesa.

But its move comes at a time several tech giants have joined the scramble for the fast-growing mobile wallets market.

They include Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi.

“Consumers can use the wallet to handle their everyday transactions such as paying for airtime and groceries at the tap of a button, as well as access innovative financial services, all on one super-app,” said Tecno.

China's largest smartphone makers have intensified their battle for the Kenyan market, eager for a slice of one of the hottest and fastest-growing devices outlets in the region.

Huge demand for entry-level and mid-range smartphones, which are pocket friendly in a market where feature phones are still widely used, has attracted major players from the Asian giant.

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