Zimbabwe’s government owned postal services company, Zimpost, yesterday launched launched an electronic money transfer service known as Zipcash. The service, according to a report by Finx, allows for domestic and international money transfers. The new service replaces Zimposts existing money order services which basically entailed a lot of paperwork for sending and notification of transfers.
Zipcash, the Zimpost MD says in the report, will allow the sender to alert a receiver electronically of a reference code that they can use to instantly retrieve the cash at any Zimpost branch countrywide Those in the diaspora can also send money home through the system as Zimpost is connected to other post offices worldwide. A network of a network of 760 000 post offices worldwide apparently.
The one drawback we notice from the reports available is that to transfer money, the users have to physically visit a Zimpost office, which means most of the inconvenience that mobile money has resolved, remain an issue with Zipcash.
On the issue of tariffs there’s nothing clear yet, just indication that the services will be cheaper than the rest of the money transfer services in the country. We’re guessing they are referring to EcoCash, NetOne’s OneWallet, CABS’s Textacash, FBC’s Mobile Moola, Western Union and a few others. According to the FinX report, Zimpost will manage to keep the tariffs low owing to favorable treatment by the law as they don’t have to pay the same fees private operators do.
Despite not being as convenient as the mobile money operators in terms of allowing transfers from just a mobile phone, Zimpost’s service is likely to gain some traction as the company already has a a significant customer base using it’s existing (archaic) transfer service. On a recent visit to one post office in Harare, we were actually surprised at seeing queues of people waiting to transfer money to relatives around the country.
Zimpost has a total 222 postal outlets in Zimbabwe, and according to Finx, will also be using Caravans. In term of international transfers Zimpost says it has already signed for the services with South Africa, Tanzania Botswana and Nigeria.