Tag: Mobile Money & eCommerce
In Zimbabwe, those in tech (and banking) will remember 2011 as the year of mobile banking. Not in the sense of the use of mobile banking services by Zimbabweans, but more that it’s the year almost every financial institution and all mobile operators launched.
Back in march when news first broke that ZimSwitch was working with Telecel to power mobile banking for local banks, the two banks that Telecel confirmed they were working with were CABS and POSB. CABS launched its mobile banking service (branded textacash) in September. As for POSB, ZimSwitch told us exactly month ago the bank was in “live pilot”.
Through adverts in the press today, POSB has announced that its mobile banking service is available to the public.
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.
Following our story earlier today on the coming launch of ZimSwitch Mobile later this month, a reader sent us a picture they took of a mobile banking advert by CABS in their Sam Levy’s Village branch in Borrowdale, Harare.
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.
The announcement that Econet will be launching Eco-cash, a mobile payment solution is good news for the country. This will bring in new opportunities for technology entrepreneurs if the service takes off. We have to start thinking about businesses that will run on the platform. I will share some of the businesses that could be set up, using examples mostly from Kenya where the M-Pesa mobile money service has been very successful.
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.
Techzim has just found out that Western Union has been offering a domestic money transfer service since the 16th of May 2011. It appears as if not enough PR work was done in this regard as even an online search did not yield any information. The money transfer service enables locals to send and receive money within Zimbabwe without the need of a bank account. A receiver is able to access money within minutes of sending and is subject to agent locations. Western Union’s local agents are Microking (a subsidiary of Kingdom Bank), Easy Link, POSB, and FFS.
In what Safaricom is referring to as “the largest deal of its kind in the world”, M-PESA subscribers in Kenya will now be able to receive international Western Union remittances on their mobile phones. With a total of 13.5 million subscribers on the M-PESA platform, the development is a big milestone for both Safaricom and Western Union.
The Safaricom/Western Union alliance will see Kenyans receive remittances from 45 countries and territories. “No other Kenya operator can receive money from as many countries”, Safaricom boasted in a release.