Harnessing the remittances from Zimbabweans in the diaspora, ZESA ICT arm Powertel is expanding the payment channels for prepaid electricity to them.
Zimbabweans in the diaspora can now pay for their relatives and friends home electricity via platforms such as VISA and Mastercard.
The company now boasts of 60 000 channels of prepaid electricity payment.
Upon appointment to be the sole aggregator for prepaid electricity tokens in Zimbabwe in 2013, ZESA’s converged ICT unit Powertel over the years proves to be up for the task.
Sticking to its mandate, Powertel roped in various vendors to sell the prepaid electricity for the convenience of Zimbabweans. These include local banks, and mobile network operators such as Telecel, Econet and NetOne.
Over 3 million Zimbabweans are accessing through electronic channels with 6 million accessing through mobile channels, and almost a million buying from diaspora.
In November last year, Powertel launched its Scratch Cards a solution that comes in handy as customers can buy electricity on the go without having to wait on long queues.
Vendors and customers have mixed feelings over the prepaid electricity payment. Both claim that despite network hiccups here and there, they have benefited from it.
One vendor from Highfield only known as Trust said the sale of prepaid electricity tokens come as an additional revenue stream for them.
“You know this sale of prepaid electricity tokens has helped my business grow as people come in their numbers to buy electricity from us. However most of them leave this place with sullen faces whenever the network is down. Which is something that needs to be dealt with,” he said
Their scratch cards hit the streets in March this year and they are now available at all Powertel, Getcash, and Celfet outlets in the country with the service now available on all Point Of Sale points, Mobile money platforms, mobile applications among other points.
Powertel’s efforts have not gone unnoticed as the company has various accolades on its shelf. It was recognized as the second best ICT Exhibitor at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair held in Bulawayo last month.
Last year, the company dominated the Zimbabwe Investment Authority awards in Harare collecting the most coveted award, The Chairman’s Investor of the Year Award along with the best ICT sector award award.
Powertel’s managing director Engineer Samuel Maminimini for steering the ship also got the Megafest 2016 Top Leadership Award.