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Vodacom is shutting down M-Pesa mobile money services in Albania

by Milicent Atieno
albania m-pesa vodacom safaricom kenya fintech mobile money

The thing with one size fits all approach is that you might end up incurring huge costs in investing in a replica of another project in a new place, but it never takes off.

You only need to look at Safaricom’s former parent company Vodacom. The UK-based telecom in partnership with its (former) Kenyan unit Safaricom had a very successful run with mobile money service M-Pesa. In fact, up to now, M-Pesa is the poster child of mobile money and the reference point for most m-Commerce platforms around the world.

Perhaps the high of the success it had in Kenya with M-Pesa, Vodacom has been trying to replicate the same service across the world. In parts of Europe, South Africa, and even Albania; unfortunately, one size doesn’t fit all.

In South Africa, M-Pesa failed miserably, and Vodacom had to pull the plug off and count its losses. The traction it got in South Africa was nowhere near the 90% market penetration it has in Kenya. The same applies to Albania, where Vodacom has officially announced intentions to shut it down.

M-Pesa was launched in Albania in 2015, and managed to register a measly 250,000 users; not enough to justify its operating costs. Vodacom has thus announced July 14th as the last day M-Pesa will be available in Albania.

Albanians using M-Pesa should, therefore, make arrangement to withdraw funds remaining in their M-Pesa wallet before the date arrives to avoid any inconveniences.

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