Telecel and ZimSwitch today (Thursday) announced that they had teamed up to enable banks to offer their customers an affordable and easy-to-use mobile banking facility that could change the face of banking in Zimbabwe.
On Friday last week, Econet launched EcoCash, a mobile money service that so far looks like a game changer. On the local market at least. The concept is a tried and tested one. M-PESA has worked phenomenally well in Kenya, and Econet has read the M-PESA story cover to cover. In fact it is its similarity to M-PESA that gives Econet the game changing potential it has with EcoCash.
Last night, we attended the official launch for Econet’s EcoCash mobile money service. Even though the event started some 40 minutes late, there was a series of polished presentations, the highlight being the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Governor’s participation as guest of honour.
Last week, we posted that ZimSwitch was launching a mobile banking service called ZimSwitch Mobile and that it would start rolling out the service to banks before the end of September, with more banks following. Immediately after we posted that article, a reader sent us a tip that the service was already live at CABS.
We’ve just received a press release from Econet PR announcing the launch of EcoCash, the mobile banking service. The release doesn’t disclose much about how the service will work. Just a bit more than what we found out yesterday; that a subscriber will not need a bank account and that the service is mobile network neutral.
New information in the release is that Econet has signed up some 500 EcoCash agents across the country, and that Zimpost,
Econet is launching Eco-Cash, its mobile money service, tomorrow. The launch will be held at the Rainbow Towers hotel in Harare. Econet unveiled earlier this month its plan to launch the service before the end of September.
We have received some bits of information on what Eco-Cash will be.
This week, we received communication from ZimSwitch that the ZimSwitch Mobile platform will be rolling out to the first wave of ‘ZimSwitch Ready’ banks this month and that more banks will follow “hot on their trails”.
In January, NetOne announced the launch of the OneWallet mobile money service to stakeholders. This was followed two months later with the announcement that Gemalto, an international digital security company, was deploying a mobile money transfer solution for the OneWallet service.
Eco-Cash is likely to change a lot of things for a lot of people. Whether you are mobile operator, a payment services provider, a traditional bank or a more modern bank just starting to offer mobile money services to the millions of unbanked Zimbabweans, Econet will in some way disrupt your business. Econet has almost half of the country’s population on its mobile network. That about says it all.
But it’s not just disruption. It’s opportunity as well. Without over-generalising, there’s a myriad of issues with payments right now and Econet has enormous potential to introduce some needed convenience. If they do it right of-course.
Given our country’s limitations in payment systems, especially web based ones, I have encountered a number of entrepreneurs that have talked about developing solutions that enable users to pay for goods and services using their mobile phone airtime.
Telecel Zimbabwe has just revealed to Techzim that it’s working with Zimswitch Mobile to include more banks on its mobile banking platform.
Telecel launched the Skwama mobile banking services in January this year but only provided the service to subscribers banking with Zimbabwe’s Kingdom Bank.
Gemalto, an international digital security company, announced today that NetOne is deploying a Gemalto mobile money transfer solution called LinqUs for the OneWallet service.
The OneWallet service was launched by NetOne to stakeholders in January this year becoming the second mobile money transfer service in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator, Telecel, launched the first mobile wallet service in December last year.
In December 2010 NetOne introduced a promotion where prepaid subscribers buying a US $15 airtime recharge would get 107 free minutes. This was all grand and fine except that it’s really just a few prepaid subscribers who can afford buying a $15 recharge at once.