Breaking the Ice First it was Netone with its mobile money transfer service dubbed OneWallet, Econet joined the technology ship with its celebrated Ecocash mobile money transfer , Telecel later on bulldozed through with its Telecash, and outside the mobile networks, now NettCash has stepped in but with a bang and an edge over other already existing mobile money transfer.
By Tongai Mwenje
When Econet vigorously marketed its Ecocash we all thought no competitor was going to match that bar which it had set for its competitors, but surprisingly we saw its competitors giving them a good run for their innovation.
To stamp its authority and presence in the mobile money transfer business, Telecash rushed to introduce a service of its own kind through their Gold card before Ecocash hits back a week later with a master plan dubbed Ecocash Debit Card.
Telecel became the first mobile phone network to have issued debit cards for its mobile electronic wallet users. The Telecash gold card can be used to pay for goods and services at any of the more than 5 000 ZimSwitch points of sale across the country.
The card can be used to pay for groceries, DSTV subscriptions, restaurant and hotel bills, and many other goods and services. It can also be used to withdraw cash at ZimSwitch branded automated teller machines (ATMs).
Econet then responded with an EcoCash powered debit card in conjunction with MasterCard, making it possible for Zimbabweans to actually buy direct and transact from anyway or online using their card.
This flexible mobile money transfer based service payment system became not only a big punch to its mobile network competitors but also to financial institutions such as banks and other international payment platform like PayPal.
The local card is now available to carter for local mobile money transfer and also the international one to carter for international transactions.
When all these services are available what else would we need as clients bonded to these mobile network providers. For someone with blinkers nothing can be added or subtracted, but as for NetCash, icing has to be added to make a complete cake.
With Netcash, users can send and receive money via mobile devices with the cash out and cash in being carried out from designated agents with the necessary POS terminals.
The reason why it’s going to give the three already existing mobile money transfers stiffer competition is its impartiality towards network providers.
Its service shows no partiality to any local mobile network, meaning that registered users on any mobile network can send money to any recipient on any other network.
The process of “cashing out” any money received does encourage registration as the enrollment process can also be initiated at the POS terminal.
In terms of transfer charges, Nettcash is priced in the same range as Ecocash and Telecash according to an insider who refused to be quoted for procedural reasons, now it remains to be seen if they will acclimatize to the highly innovational wave in terms of service delivery.
Telecash, Ecocash and OneWallet use USSD based service; Netcash has adopted a different approach by introducing secure SMS, IVR and a web platform as channels for money transfers.
The service is now officially available from all Zimpost outlets nationwide as well as the Talk City internet cafe with Total Service stations set to assume agent services next week.