On the Money – In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- In Kenya, British American Insurance has launched a new personal accident insurance product whose premiums will be paid through the recently launched M-Kesho Account by mobile operator Safaricom.  The new product, to cost Sh530 per year or staggered monthly payments of Sh69.17 or weekly payments of about Sh20, is a micro-insurance product that is likely to increase the pace of innovation in the insurance industry, which is struggling to increase penetration.

- Banque Populaire Du Rwanda (bpr), the largest bank by branch network in the country is set to roll out mobile banking by the end of August. The new product will enable the bank's clients to access banking and financial services using a mobile phone. BPR's CEO, Ben Kalkman, said that the ongoing pilot phase is showing positive results. "The service will enable BPR's clients to transfer, send and receive money from different places around the country in partnership with MTN Rwanda," Kalkman said.

- South Korean firm, LG Electronics has locally partnered with Silverbird Cinemas in a marketing strategy worth Sh12 million ($160,000) annually to grow its Kenyan mobile phone sales share. Silverbird Cinemas operates a network of theatres in premium malls in most African capitals.

- Standard Bank’s mimoney, South Africa’s virtual currency division that enables online transactions, has expanded its merchant footprint by signing deals with three online retailers, namely Take2, Simplicity.co.za and luxury e-tailer Luxury4Less (more4bucks). The mimoney virtual payment voucher can be used as a payment option on any electronic environment. In order to buy mimoney vouchers, customers make a payment to the Standard Bank mimoney account. They then receive a mimoney voucher, which is an 18-digit number to the same value, which will be delivered to a designated mobile phone device upon purchase. mimoney’s retail partners include Kalahari.net, Ster Kinekor, eXactMobile, Mr Delivery, mxit, wireless, incredibytes, edreams, mitime, exactmusic and NetForist.

­ Orange has launched its mobile payment service, Orange Money, in three additional African countries, Senegal, Mali and Madagascar in recent weeks. The service allows mobile customers to deposit and withdraw money, to transfer money, to easily buy call credit, to pay for goods at certain retail partners and to pay bills. Orange Money will also be launched in Niger and Kenya in the coming months, and will eventually be extended across the Group's entire footprint in Africa and the Middle East.

- Zantel has the relaunched its mobile banking service ZPesa for its customers in Zanzibar in an effort to revamp its mobile banking services by adding more services that are people centred. Zantel Chief Executive Officer, Noel Herrity said that the new rebranded ZPesa service with additional services will enable Zantel subscribers in Zanzibar to pay for several utility bills. He mentioned some of the utilities which have partnered with Zantel in the endeavor as electricity, water, air tickets, DSTV and cable TV, buy airtime apart from the sending and receiving money.