When NSSA’s funds were used to acquire Telecel by the government in 2015 year, the assumption was that the social security organisation was interested in not just the investment in a lucrative industry, but that mobile financial services in the form of Telecash had attracted it too.
Indeed, NSSA itself confirmed this last year saying it was already looking to use mobile money to pay pensioners so that they don’t have to travel long distances to get their money at banks.
It’s taken over a year to do this, but NSSA and Telecel have finally integrated their two platforms to enable the payment of pensions via mobile money.
Telecel announced the new facility to its subscribers via an SMS this week:
No more queues!
Register for Telecash to receive your NSSA pension via Telecash and enjoy convenience.
NSSA pays pensions to about 180,000 members so this is a good opportunity for Telecel as it gives these people a reason to use its mobile money service. Telecash becomes something that pensioners have to use at least once a month.
There’s also the knock-on effect that if these pensioners start using Telecash, young working professionals that send money to their parents (the pensioners) will increasing start considering Telecash as an option too. In fact the pensioners might make the request to these economically active people that Telecash is used for the purpose.
Telecash already has a very wide network of agents across Zimbabwe and so making this work for its subscribers will hopefully not be too hard. There will however be need for the company to solve the liquidity problem (make it possible for these pensioners to get cash at agents) and to ensure that the Telecash Gold card is accepted by widely in Zimbabwe so that pensioners don’t have to withdraw cash. Telecash also has to incentivise the pensioners to use the card by making sure high transaction fees don’t discourage them.
That said, it’s worth mentioning that EcoCash processes 99% of the mobile money transactions in Zimbabwe. EcoCash is probably what the pensioners already use to transact. It is hard therefore for NSSA management to justify to the board why they are not integrating to EcoCash too, especially as Telecel will no longer be their company in about 3 years from now.
The National Social Security Authority is Zimbabwe's social security company which was established in 1989 in terms of the NSSA Act of 1989, Chapter 17: 04, an act of parliament. The firm administers social security public funds on behalf of about 1,3 million contributors. NSSA administers two schemes: Pension and Other Benefits Scheme and Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme. NSSA pays pensions to about 180,000 members. Read More
Telecash is a mobile money transfer facility that is provided by mobile network phone operator, Telecel Zimbabwe. The product offers great convenience to customers by allowing them to send money across all networks and make payments. When the product was launched, it was said that it was connected to Zimswitch which meant that giving it access to most banks. The product was launched on January 29, 2014 after other operators like Econet Wireless Zimbabwe had already introduced EcoCash Read More
EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that th platform is said to handle on a daily basis.Apart from just sending money, the platform also allows users to make purchases, settle debts among many other monetary transactions Read More