Vodafone Albania has sent a notice indicating it will stop offering mobile money transfer service from July 14
This will affect nearly 250,000 users who have until July 29 to withdraw their funds.
Vodafone has not given an official explanation on why it is bringing down the curtain on M-Pesa in Albania, but sources said it was an internal decision.
A low uptake of the mobile service provided by Vodafone’s subsidiary Vodacom in South Africa was the reason for M-Pesa’s demise in 2016.
M-Pesa is the world’s most successful mobile money transfer service with 25 million registered users in 10 countries though over 90 percent of the users are in Kenya, capitalfm report.
M-Pesa claims to be the world’s most successful mobile money service. It is offered in 10 countries and had 29.5 million active customers as of this February, totaltele report.
However, there is no escaping the fact that the majority of those customers are concentrated in just one market: Kenya. Vodafone’s local unit Safaricom was the first to offer M-Pesa, and had 24.8 million registered users, of which 17.6 million were active users, at the beginning of September 2016.
That leaves around 12 million M-Pesa users spread across its remaining nine markets, which includes India, where it is worth noting that Vodafone is the country’s second-largest mobile operator, with 209.8 million subscribers at the end of April.
Albania is not the first market where Vodafone has pulled the plug on M-Pesa either.
In May 2016, Vodafone’s South African unit, Vodacom, discontinued the service on the grounds that high levels of financial inclusion meant that it was unlikely to achieve critical mass.