In Zimbabwe, All Bets Are On Mobile Money & Data As SMS Declines and Telecoms Shifts
Friday, January 23, 2015
Numbers don’t lie, especially in business, and when the right sort of numbers are going up it becomes a celebrated truth.
From the surface the Zimbabwean mobile telecoms scene is in pretty great shape. In a conclusion to the quarterly performance report POTRAZ, the industry regulator, spelled out how the third quarter of 2014 noticed a 9% increase in revenue. There’s a cause for celebration there.
There are a lot of investments made by all the mobile network operators (MNOs) that have contributed to this. The leader though is mobile money transfer and payments services. What started off as an adoption of a service that had succeeded in other parts of Africa has now come out ahead as just the right kind of cushion in a volatile economic environment.
In the three months ending September 2014 the transfer and transactional value on mobile money services came to $403,149,620 which is a 16.3% increase from the previous quarter of the same year. This is a remarkable increase in capital volumes considering the very sad song every other financial services provider has been singing.
The number of mobile money subscribers also went up, with close to 700,000 new users registered in the third quarter of the year. That is a commendable feat in terms of product and service uptake and these are hardly the sort of numbers that can easily be pulled in any sort of industry, especially financial services, in such a short space of time.
Let’s not forget the increase in the number of agents as well (4,181 new agents to be exact) something that every company especially the banks, which handled retrenchment last year would be envious of without a doubt.