It’s been a struggle getting NetOne to give the statistics of the users of its mobile money service, OneWallet. That the service hasn’t been a runaway success has of course never been secret. NetOne executives have themselves admitted that the requirement for subscribers to swap in sim cards for higher capacity ones has caused a depressed uptake. Just how lukewarm or bad the figures however hasn’t been clear. Until now.
Giving evidence last week to a parliamentary portfolio committee on Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, NetOne MD Reward Kangai said the service only has about 200,000 active subscribers.
To put that number in context, it’s about 7.4% of NetOne’s 2.7 million total subscribers.
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And just to compare it to the most successful mobile money service locally; EcoCash has 3.5+ million subscribers, about 40% of its total subscribers. And to understand more why it’s important to compare, OneWallet was introduced to the market months ahead of EcoCash. January 2011 and September 2011 respectively.
Kangai said last week that they are looking to sign up a total 750,000. Another secret tool they have is the access to the ZESA prepaid electricity coupons which they hope will bring them some 1 million subscribers. Kind of a, “if you want to pay your power via mobile, buy a NetOne sim” scheme. The sims will be sold right where people buy power,in the ZESA banking halls.