Econet dominates mobile money transfers

HARARE - Zimbabwe's largest telecommunications firm by assets and subscriber base, Econet, continues to dominate the country’s mobile money market.

Latest data from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) shows that Econet’s subsidiary, EcoCash, controlled 99 percent of mobile money transferred in the quarter to September 2016.

In the period under review, cash in transactions amounted to $441,9 million, a 4,0 percent decline from  $460,2 million in the previous quarter while cash out transactions declined from $448 million to $430 million.

On the other hand cross network transactions increased by 162,8 percent to $3,3 million in the third quarter from $1,3 million.

Potraz said the total value of mobile money transactions declined despite the increase in active mobile money accounts during the period.

“This implies that transactions made were of smaller amounts than the previous quarter. The decline is largely attributable to the cash crunch currently bedevilling the economy. 99 percent of transactions were made on EcoCash whereas Telecel and NetOne had 0,9 percent and 0,1 percent respectively,” the regulator added.

The total number of registered mobile money subscriptions by end of September jumped 5,7 percent to 9 075 752 from 8 585 509 recorded in the previous quarter.

According to Potraz, active mobile money subscriptions increased by 2,6 percent to record 3 333 964 from 3 221 059 recorded in the previous quarter.

An active mobile money subscriber is defined as customer account that has used the mobile money service to make transactions that involve the movement of value such as cash-in, cash-out, bill payments and airtime top-ups at least once in the last 90 days.

“There was no change in the market share of mobile money subscriptions. Econet had 97,8 percent whereas Telecel and NetOne had 1,9 percent and 0,3 percent respectively,” Potraz said.

This comes as Econet’s mobile money platform, which moved over $6,6 billion in the full year to February 2016, has been exploring various ways to ease liquidity crisis in the country.

Early this month, EcoCash embraced the South African Rand as a currency of transaction on the platform.

Econet chief executive, Douglas Mboweni, said the introduction of a multi-currency wallet was another step towards meeting the country’s vision of becoming a cashless society and of easing liquidity in a multi-currency regime.

“Today we witness another chapter of innovation as we continuously explore new ways to make a positive and meaningful impact to our customers’ lives,” he said.

The Econet boss noted that his company was also striving to offer customers a robust service which combines ease of use, high-levels of security, accessibility and choice.

The multi-currency wallet is a separate product, allowing the customer to transact in both United States dollars and rands from the EcoCash wallet.

The service is available to all EcoCash registered customers without the need to re-register.

Mboweni noted that Econet, which has invested over $1,2 billion in infrastructure since 2009, was overcoming disruptive technology cycles and strong economic headwinds through a robust business model.

“The declining voice revenues will be eased by incentives and packages that suit declining disposable incomes and growing our broadband through wider 4G/ LTE coverage, offering affordable smartphones and rolling broadband to the home,” he said.

The listed mobile telecommunications firm’s focus will also be on growing mobile financial services through promoting EcoCash as a premier mobile merchant payment platform and broadening mobile insurance offering, Mboweni said.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.