Zimbabwe:Cash crunch spurs Telecel mobile banking facility

TELECEL, the country’s third largest telecommunications operator, realised $12 million in cash-out and cash-in transactions in the last quarter of 2016 due to the prevailing economic environment characterised by cash shortages.

Telecel public relations and sponsorship manager Francis Chimanda told NewsDay in e-mailed responses that the cash shortages had seen an increased uptake of other mobile banking services such as bank-to-wallet and wallet-to-bank transfers, as customers find solutions to the cash challenges.

“The major challenge has been the shortage of cash on the market and the solution is in educating our customers to use plastic money and mobile money for transactions, while promoting these by making them easier to access and more affordable,” he said.

“The initiative to encourage the increased use of mobile and plastic money has already started to happen at government and at company level, with Telecel promoting mobile payments for various services like Zesa and utility payments.”

In addition, Chimanda said they were encouraging payments on the Telecash platform.

The company has a Telecash Gold Card, which allows customers to make payments at all ZimSwitch-enabled point-of-sale devices.

He also revealed that the company was now realising more than half a million a month worth of transactions on merchant payment and “this figure is growing on a monthly basis”.

Chimanda said in the near future, they were expecting to significantly grow the number of services and transactions that could be carried out on the Telecash platform, for the improved customer experience of their Telecash service users through innovations and business partnerships that provide convenience.

In its latest report, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said cash shortages were having an impact on mobile money transactions, which if not addressed, could cause further decline in mobile money transactions, rendering mobile money business unviable due to low volumes.

Potraz said mobile money transactions in the last quarter of 2016 (October to December), dropped 35% from the previous quarter.