Three financial institutions and Telecel Zimbabwe have partnered with Zimswitch Mobile to offer mobile banking services to the unbanked public.
CABS, POSB and Interfin Bank have already begun testing the platform using Telecel Zimbabwe lines with eight additional banks expected to join before year-end.
The system enables customers with mobile phones to receive or send money to other people. The cash can be withdrawn from any bank with a ZimSwitch sign.
ZimSwitch Mobile business development manager Adam Roscoe said ZimSwitch would enable interaction through its platform, which is monitored and controlled in a secure way.
“At least 85% of the banking institutions will be on the system. This technology was developed by Zimbabweans,” Roscoe said.
He said the company had been working on the platform and technology for the last three years.
Roscoe could however not disclose how had been invested in the system.
CABS managing director Kevin Terry said the scheme would enable users to make payments and transfer funds using mobile phones.
“We have given customers another distribution channel through Textcash to the unbanked with no monthly charge and overall charges that are lower,” Terry said.
He said CABS business model has been that of getting little cash from a lot of people.
Terry said by end of 2012 the bank would also be offering insurance services to customers through the mobile service with Old Mutual.
Interfin Bank head of marketing Palmer Mugavha said the platform would make it easy for people that had been relying on Real Time Gross Settlement system, that took 24 hours to process, to effect transfers immediately.
“We want to increase the number of accounts and reduce the cost of infrastructure that each and every bank has been using,” Mugavha said.
Telecel public relations executive Francis Chimanda said they had chosen ZimSwitch as it served the bulk of the country’s populace.