While many may have failed to calculate the impact of the Powertel prepayment system, it is interesting to note that their payment system has saved Zimbabwe from the painful power cuts as the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) can now import electricity with the prepaid cash. This has seen Zesa shift its business from the credit facility which often plunged the nation in darkness.
Of course they may have been many other factors including, “lack of enough rain”. But right in the background, Powertel has been playing a major role to collect cash on behalf of its parent company. Powertel’s system has improved Zesa’s revenues enabling Zimbabwe to import electricity on cash basis. The move has seen millions enjoy more hours with Zesa, remarkably reducing power cuts even during this winter season.
By Toneo T Rutsito
This year’s winter season was really unlike Zimbabwe as we enjoyed the better part of it under full electricity supply. Zimbabweans have been wondering on how exactly they survived the most painful season yet the involved enterprises completely forgot to brag about their noble activities. Most importantly, Thank you Zesa for keeping us connected.
Zimbabwe has been going through possibly the most challenging season ever since the volatile Zimbabwean dollar era. This phase is not just the survival of the fittest, but also of those with the best strategy to make it through the dry seasons, while impressively, capable of making a fruitful results.
The current phase has asked all players to shape out or ship out. Its not just because of a struggling economic environment, but the dynamic digital environment which has demanded products and services which bespeak the era, creating a dog eat dog environment.
Powertel has stood the test of time by offering various services which have not only changed their balance sheet, but interestingly forced a culture shift introducing new services which led to the closure of their brick and motor system buildings which saw more Zimbabweans embrace its digital payment systems.
Earlier this year, TechnoMag reported that ZESA was literally shutting down most of its shops, a move which was mainly driven by implementation of latest technological solutions. The move literally turned Zesa offices into white elephants where most Zimbabweans slowly migrated from the conventional building payments system.
Queueing for ZESA payments is now a thing of the past, with Powertel payment system which to date accounts for 94% of prepaid revenue. Zimbabweans can now do their transactions through various vendors on their power plus prepaid service, including through supermarkets, banks, point of sale machines and various merchants, a move which will even make it difficult for the upcoming Ecocash -Zesa deal to thrive.
The move was solidified by Powertel embracing plastic money and international payment platforms integrating payments for Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. This gamechanger has shaken the market by creating alternative modes of payment especially at a time when Zimbabwe is faced with cash shortages.
Their VoIP option shook the market as their 08611 mobile network took VoIP and CDMA communication to the next level with the least mobile voice tariffs and zero charges across network. This is a move which places Powertel as the next powerhouse for mobile communication technology in Zimbabwe.
Speaking to a local industry supplier, he was so grateful with Zesa’s consistency in electricity supply that has increased productivity, and profitability in the sector.
Of course this has to be complemented by an excellent marketing initiatives by Powertel. Their presence in most strategic areas with their home campaigns and fibre activations in Braeside has brought them closer to consumers, demystifying the Powertel brand. In doing so, Powertel unmask its brand to the user which is a key strategy towards effective brand management coming from a state owned company.