Like a lot of other Value added services, mobile money services have always had more than one regulator monitoring activities around service delivery and in a lot of respects, protecting the consumer.
Now, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and POTRAZ (Post and Telecoms Regulatory Authority) are out to offer some form of relief to mobile money subscribers. The area being addressed: High mobile money tariffs.
According to a report from FinX, the POTRAZ director of Finance and Administration, Biggie Chiripanhura, has mentioned that both POTRAZ and the RBZ will be correcting tariffs. Chiripanhura is quoted as having cited Zimbabwe’s mobile money tariffs as being the highest in the world.
“The cost of transacting mobile money in Zimbabwe is the most expensive in the world; the cost is exorbitant especially on higher denominations. This has affected the roll out of mobile money in the country. However sooner or later, we will bring sanity to the sector together with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as consumers are suffering,” Biggie Chiripanhura
(NB Techzim hasn’t finished verifying this for all mobile money services on the planet, but we will share the relevant comparisons as soon as we do)
This is just a familiar drum beat getting louder. Since late last year, the reduction of mobile money tariffs has been on the State’s agenda. It was expressed through the Ministry of Industry and Trade, with the Competition and Tariffs Commission being pointed in the direction of mobile money services.
So far, only Econet’s EcoCash appears to have flinched. It lowered its tariffs at the beginning of February, a somewhat strategic move that appears to be aimed at staving off calls for drastic tariff reductions such as the ones effected two years ago.
When you add this to the reduced voice tariffs, the picture looks gloomy for telecoms in 2015 and the tough economic environment won’t make it any easier as well.