A few weeks back, Zuku notified its customers of planned price increments for its fiber packages. The increments of between Kshs. 200 and 2,000 will affect new and existing customers and will take effect from February 2016. Zuku said it planned to increase customer speeds by 50% where if a customer was on a 10 Mbps Link, they will now have a 15 Mbps link. The company has now issued another update with regards to payment for its services. Zuku currently accepts various payment modes including Mobile Money services such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money. Customers can also opt to pay via the website, a service powered by PesaPal. One can also make payments at PesaPoint ATMs or through banks using mobile banking or in-branch walk-ins.
In an update to customers, Zuku outlined plans to discontinue payments services through various aggregators including Pesapoint, PesaPal and JamboPay effective 29th February 2016. Customers can still make payments via M-Pesa using the Zuku Paybill number 320320 or pay at Zuku shops. We sought clarification from the company but our emails are yet to be answered.
According to an industry insider, the move is attributed to Safaricom’s new and improved M-Pesa offering which has seen more corporate clients switch and plug directly to M-Pesa for payments. Last year, Safaricom relocated its servers from Germany to Kenya which also saw the retirement of M-Pesa’s first build known as G1 and deployment of a new build known as G2. This further allowed for the release of the M-Pesa API to businesses, allowing them to charge a customer directly from their M-Pesa account. The insider says Zuku is among the businesses plugging into this to power payments for its services.