With the country facing a cash shortage crisis, Mobile Money agents have not been left out as they are struggling to get money from the service providers the mobile network networks.
Yesterday, we ran an article on Zim’s Preparedness for the Cashless society. This one is a follow up with the street voices telling their experience in the country without cash.
By Marvelous Chibagidi
Some of these mole money platforms have been registering notable profits on the back of their mobile money platforms. Many mobile money subscribers who want to withdraw money or cash out are now accustomed to literally cashless agents or maybe cashless in pretense.
What then is the future of these mobile money agents and the companies offering the services like Getcash, Ecocash, Telecash and One Wallet? Do these companies have any strategy in place to deal with this crisis and have people keep their jobs and the agents maintain their income?
Efforts to get comments from Eccoash and Getcash executives were fruitless. But the future of mobile money agents really is uncertain with the crisis worsening each day. One wonders if the companies involved are working strategies or they are simply going to fold operations.
The total number of active mobile money subscriptions increased by 0.7% to reach 3 221,059 from 3,199,568 recorded in the previous quarter. An active mobile money subscription is one that has used mobile money services to send or receive money, purchase airtime or to make payments in the last 90 days.
The increase in the mobile money subscriptions can be attributed to a number of subscribers adopting the plastic money concept after feeling the pinch of the cash crisis.
Mobile agents are widely distributed across the country. This network of agents has created employment and earns many a decent salary.
The agents have been forced to limit cash out withdrawals, like the banks .Some have actually stopped giving out money not because they do not have the money.
“It is an advantage for those who have debit cards like the Ecocash. This is due to the fact that one can purchase goods using the card when one can not access hard cash. This then calls for all the mobile money service providers to work on how they can help their customers adopt the plastic money concept as a debit card will make it all easy,” added the agent.
If the service provider does not avail resources which make the adoption of the plastic money concept easy then what does the future for their agents and even the company at large.
All the mobile operators grew their agent network in the quarter under review with Econet registering the highest number of new agents. Growth in the number of mobile money agents implies improvement in access to mobile money services by the populace.
The value of cash-in transactions in the quarter under review increased by 2.4% to record $460.2million from $449.9million recorded in the previous quarter. Cash-out transactions
also increased by 9.9% to record $447.7million from $407.3milliom recorded in the previous quarter. How ever the value of cross-network transfers declined and this is according to the Potraz second quarterly report.