You can pay using OneMoney from any POS now, is this a game changer?

Leonard Sengere Avatar
OneMoney banner at an event, OneMoney promotion, 500MB

You have heard the news, you can now pay straight from your OneMoney mobile money wallet via Point of Sale. This means wherever you find a POS machine you don’t have to ask if they accept OneMoney, they do now.

Zimswitch allows for this. The market leader, EcoCash, does not have this kind of integration. Maybe some day these two will learn to play nicely with each other.

In the backend this arrangement works out well for the merchant as well. When a customer pays using OneMoney like this, the money goes straight to their bank account.

This is a plus now because of the restrictions that were placed on mobile money accounts. Merchants cannot transact much using their mobile money accounts, they have to transfer that money to their bank accounts first.

NetOne on their part do not have to sign up merchants on OneMoney. If they have a bank account, they can accept payments from OneMoney users.

So, the OneMoney from any POS feature is a win-win-win-win for customers, merchants, the mobile money service provider and Zimswitch. Case closed. Or is it?

How much marketshare does OneMoney have?

We don’t know but if we can go by the last reports we got, EcoCash had market share in the mid 90 percents. We can assume OneMoney has made some inroads in the past few years, especially considering the regulatory challenges EcoCash faced for a time.

That said, I imagine EcoCash still has the lion’s share of the market. Meaning this new OneMoney on any POS feature will be used by only a few people.

OneMoney has millions of users now but those figures can be misleading. All mobile money subscriber stats are misleading because these mobile network operators now sign up people for mobile money services when they register their new SIM cards.

Often times people have no intention of using said mobile money accounts. This is especially a problem because most Zimbabweans have multiple SIM cards. There are many who only have Econet lines so they can use EcoCash. These same people will be counted among OneMoney subscribers even when they never use the service.

So, again, the new feature is neat but how many will actually make use of it?

There is also the reality that EcoCash users won’t really feel like they are missing out on anything. EcoCash is already widely accepted in the market that few know or care that EcoCash actually has to sign up merchants individually.

Even those who do not have the nifty EcoCash integration that only seeks the PIN from the user when making payment, those merchants almost always accept EcoCash via the Send Money option.

Cash first society

We can talk about market share all we want but that’s not the main challenge facing OneMoney. Even if they are gaining on EcoCash on market share or even active users, they are getting a bigger piece of a shrinking cake.

Zimbabwe is moving away from electronic money. Yes, when it comes to the ZW$ there isn’t enough cash to go around and we are forced to transact electronically. However, when it comes to the USD, our preferred currency, it is a cash economy.

We have seen even NetOne and Econet try to push people to buy more USD airtime by limiting the amount of ZW$ airtime they sell.

Every single Zimbabwean prefers the USD and as we use that currency more and more, it won’t matter much who has ZW$ mobile money transfers on lock.

It may be premature to talk about electronic ZW$ transactions not being worth it and so it is okay for OneMoney and Zimswitch to innovate. However, if current trends hold, it does look like we won’t be using the feature much.

The news seems trivial when you ask yourself, who is actually hearing this and thinking, ‘man, this solves my biggest problem.’ I don’t think there are many people out there thinking that. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to electronic payment methods and have had our go-tos for a while.

Where we have a real challenge is on how to pay for stuff using USD. Right now merchants have settled on ‘cash on delivery.’ It’s not pretty but when you have to deliver physical goods, you at least have to meet the buyer in person anyways.

Digital goods are a whole different matter. Merchants can easily deliver the goods but collecting payment is the challenge. Mostly because the government insists on collecting 4% on every USD transfer made.

Good to see

It’s not fair to levy this on OneMoney. Zimswitch on the other hand… Being the national switch, we can really expect them to bring innovation where it’s sorely needed.

That said, the OneMoney from any POS feature is still neat. It just happens that it’s not really solving any burning problem for the majority. We still love it though.

Also read:

Govt’s 4% forex tax spoils OneMoney Remit’s 0% fee promotion

Innbucks’ growth shows OneMoney could miss yet another opportunity

POSB launches loans available only to OneMoney customers

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5 comments

  1. dnc

    It’s not like Econet doesn’t completely have, had you heard about how one can pay using Ecocash from a CABS POS?

    1. ____

      And a Steward Bank POS

  2. CW

    All banks allow you to pay via EcoCash from their POS already. Nothing new here

    1. Tkt

      You’re right buddie, I’ve been doing this since the integration of mobile money platforms and Zimswitch
      I wonder how this writer missed it
      Cabs
      Agribank
      Steward
      Ned bank
      Nmb
      Baclays
      Literally ALL BANKS

  3. Marsh Ray

    Yes, this is a game-changer.

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