The Zimbabwean government is optimistic about a possible interoperability among the money mobile players in the country. Last year, Engineer Samuel Kundishora who is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, implored operators (Ecocash, Telecash, One Money) to engage with issues to do with connectivity and integrate their mobile money services across all networks due to the cash crisis currently facing the nation. Mobile Money has proved to be the only way forward people can use on their day to day living and with changes in technologies, the use of plastic money is expected to rise even more this year(2018) in Africa.
Due to increase in mobile money transactions, Mobile Money Operators in Kenya are set to start on a trial to integrate their mobile money services, Safaricom and Airtel will set to start this Monday with 200 participants, with each operator contributing 100 employees, mobile money interoperability will improve access funds efficiency in the industry and will also make Mobile Money agents to gain revenue and to make Active subscribers not be limited in their options and their cost as well.
If l the trials succeed Kenya will join other East African countries such as Tanzania and Rwanda who have walked through the same path of connecting their systems. In Tanzania, operators like Vodacom Airtel, Tigo and Zantel linked their mobile money platforms to one commercial network in early 2014. At the moment, Safaricom (M-Pesa) controls the biggest share of the mobile money market in Kenya with 80.8% which is almost similar to local money mobile sector where Econet’s Ecocash contributes over 90% of Mobile Money Market Share.
African Markets stated that Safaricom and Airtel, have engaged in a fierce battle for control of the mobile money industry in Kenya for over a decade, agreed to work together in testing the systems starting Monday. It is with such developments, the government hopes to see such type of business in Zimbabwe, where Econet, Netone and Telecel will join their hands in making this interoperability a success. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe reported(link) (Vol. 19 No. 52) 2017 that the National Payment Services transactions in volume on Mobile were at 70.18% whilst value was at 24.02%. Although mobile money erased at the last week of 2017, Mobile Money will still be the best way Zimbabweans Transact.
“Lack of interoperability has been highlighted as a major barrier to the development of the mobile money market. The strongest reason for enabling interoperability is the dramatic increase in mobile money transactions that will result,” a report by eServGlobal, a financial transactions technology company says. However, although interoperability will increase in money transactions, it will cause loss of brand identity among some operators especially small operators.