Zamtel to launch mobile money
ZAMTEL is this year set to launch its mobile money transaction platform as the Bank of Zambia scrutinises its application.
BoZ said the arrival of Zamtel on board would boost growth of mobile phone-based financial transactions which the Central Bank expects to make a dent on the huge unbanked population in the country.
BoZ assistant director for payment systems Lazarous Kamanga said whereas the country currently had just two million activate bank accounts, active 'mobile money' accounts had hit over 3.4 million with last year's growth seen at 144 per cent.
He said as part of the testing process, Zamtel had been allowed to pilot the proposed mobile money service among its workers.
"Right now, we are considering a Zamtel application and they are confident that once we give them the authority, most of their customers who are in remote areas will be able to do financial transaction through the Zamtel mobile money," Kamanga said in an interview.
The state telecommunication utility is set to join leading mobile phone companies, Airtel and MTN Zambia, in providing mobile financial services.
Kamanga said anticipated robust growth in the mobile phone-based financial transaction was expected to make a dent on the high unbanked population in the country.
"Going forward, we see the mobile phone as a major tool that banks can use to provide financial services to the excluded population," he said. "We expect more growth as more and more people activate their mobile accounts and being able to transact and conduct their banking services via the mobile phone. So, in the next three years, we expect growth to be robust in this area."
And Kamanga said partners sharing personal identification numbers were increasing chances of fraud on their accounts.
"Every person, once you open your mobile money account, it's important as individuals who want to use that pin to protect it," said Kamanga.
"I know you would want to share the PIN, unless you have a joint account.
But from the bank's point of view, that is very dangerous because the PIN is your Personal Identification Number; it's to you the holder.
Sharing of PINs is very dangerous because those promote fraud on those transactions."