After more than a year spent building anticipation, Nettcash has officially launched its mobile money service. As most people had noticed for more than a year now, Nettcash has established an online presence with a website that gave an outline of their products (albeit with a coming soon tag) as well as a subtle offline branding campaign.
We managed to preview the basic transfer service which offers a similar functionality to what we’ve grown accustomed to on other platforms. Users can send and receive money via mobile devices with the cash out and cash in being carried out from designated agents with the necessary POS terminals.
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Nettcash’s biggest edge as a new entrant in this competitive market will undoubtedly be the fact that its service is network agnostic, meaning that registered users on any mobile network can send money to any recipient on any other network. The process of “cashing out” any money received does encourage registration as the enrollment process can also be initiated at the POS terminal.
Unlike the usual USSD based service Nettcash uses secure SMS, IVR and a web platform as channels for money transfers. This is meant to give a subscriber options for transaction points, something that Nettcash is also keen on expanding on later this year with mobile money cash outs at ATMs. This ties in with the operational background of Coporeti Services, the company behind Nettcash, which has extensive experience in ATM services in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.
The Nettcash service has a big focus on providing transaction security with the integration of Near Sound Data Transfer (NSDT) to verify user registration as well as the production of a user code that a sender of money has to give the recipient to allow cashing out.
As tedious as this feature seems it gives the sender an option to hold a transfer assuming it isn’t meant for the correct recipient and at the same time offers an authentication measure. Nettcash will also have a mobile app to enhance service delivery options. We only managed to catch a glimpse of an Android version that is set for release in the short term.
With all its innovative features Nettcash’s biggest test will be in how widespread their agent network is. Currently the service is now officially available from all Zimpost outlets nationwide as well as the Talk City internet cafe with Total Service stations set to assume agent services next week.
As part of Nettcash’s m-commerce functionality, they will be offering online vouchers with select retailers once agreements have been finalised. After this initial phase they are set to explore the usual set of services such as bill payments and are also set to dabble in remittance services.
In terms of transfer charges, Nettcash is priced in the same range as Ecocash and Telecash although it remains to be seen if they will lower prices as their service expands. According to Mr Kutenha, the head of Coporeti Services and Nettcash, their focus will be on establishing a good user experience with a service that can offer every subscriber an exceptional product.