Zimbabwe’s mobile money platforms attains regional attention
DUE to cash shortages in Zimbabwe, mobile money platforms are now forecasted to surpass the impact of the globally-renowned M-PESA launched in East Africa a decade ago. With one NetOne recently launching its OneMoney service, the three mobile money platforms are expected to have a significant impact on money transactions. It is without a doubt that since its inception in 2011, Ecocash by Econet Wireless had a significant growth.
During the year 298,59 million mobile money transactions were handled, up from the 228,2 million transactions the previous year. Most transactions were done via EcoCash. Kenyans made a total of 1,52 billion mobile money transactions last year, a decade into the launch of M-PESA, the service launched in 2007 by Vodafone for Safaricom and Vodacom, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania. The growth of mobile money in Zimbabwe is in part attributed to cash shortages as the country battles economic problems. Meanwhile, the introduction of OneMoney last week will enhance competition in the mobile money space as it will compete with EcoCash and TeleCash, by the third mobile operator, Telecel.
Minister for Information, Communication and Technology and Courier Services, Super Mandiwanzira also praised the local mobile money platforms. Speaking in Cape Town, South Africa at the just-concluded AfricaCom, Minister Mandiwanzira described EcoCash as “big if not better than M-PESA.” He pointed out that in 2016 mobile money payments in Zimbabwe accounted for 81,2 percent of all electronic payment transactions maintaining the dominance mobile money services in transaction volumes. He also urged more players to come on board in the sector. “We hope to see more convenient and competitive transactions with more players coming into the sector,” the minister said. Overall, Minister Mandiwanzira described the telecommunications sector in Zimbabwe as vibrant but also pointed out that political problems, as portrayed in the media, were overshadowing strides made.