ZIMBABWE:Mobile network operators directed to tackle money transfer hiccups

GOVERNMENT has directed mobile network operators to integrate services and facilitate interoperability of mobile money in line with the country's financial inclusion strategy.

In view of the persistent cash shortages, electronic transactions are on the increase in Zimbabwe with thousands of the unbanked population using mobile money services to transact.

The Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security has since instructed all mobile network operators (MNOs) to ensure their services were interoperable or integrated.

In a statement, the ministry said enforcing interoperability in digital financial services would bring convenience to consumers and enhance the ease of doing business.

"We have noted with concern that while it is possible to send money to an unregistered customer on another network, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platforms for operators are not yet fully integrated hence wallet to wallet funds transfers have not yet been integrated," the ministry said.

"The lack of interoperability of the mobile money platforms of network is a barrier to effective competition and stalls progress in the development of mobile money services."

The ministry gave MNOs up to 1 April 2018 to ensure interoperability across all networks and warned that Government would "take appropriate measures" to enhance compliance after the set date.

Government has stressed the need for telecommunication companies, Econet, NetOne and Telecel to improve connectivity and integration of mobile money services across all networks.

Digital financial services have become a new norm in the modern world, helping communities to transact easily while promoting ease of doing business across the globe.