JUST over 20 banking institutions currently on the ZimSwitch platform have partnered Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile phone operator, Telecel, in launching a mobile money service as Zimbabwe pushes for more financial inclusion.
ZimSwitch is the sole national electronic funds switch for Zimbabwe formed in 1994 through a partnership of six Financial Institutions namely, Beverley, Barclays, CABS, Founders Building Society (ZBBs), Stanbic and Zimbank (ZB Bank). Telecel will today roll out Telecash, a mobile money transfer system as the introduction of more value added services intensify competition in the country’s telecoms sector.
Mobile Money Transfer service is an easy, fast and convenient way to send money to a receiver’s mobile phone.
This new phenomenon, according to government, has provided greater flexibility and financial inclusivity to the majority of the population in remote areas where banking services are not available.
According to a government- commissioned survey carried out in 2011, 40% of the population is financially excluded and only 24% is banked. A source close to the development told NewsDay Business that 21 banks have signed for the new service which is expected to be launched today.
“All banks on the ZimSwitch platform will be automatically connected to Telecash mobile money. I believe ours will be much, much cheaper and much, much easier to use,” a close source said.
“We are trying to include as many banks as possible, as it will be different from EcoCash where banks are not able to access the platform.”
The source said Telecash mobile money platform was initially scheduled to be launched last year before Christmas, but due to liquidity challenges in the market, the group had to postpone.
EcoCash is the country’s first mobile money transfer service launched by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The service is underwritten by Steward Bank, a bank owned by Econet.