Just this month alone, Telecel has proven that finally, someone within their mobile money service, Telecash, is now thinking as the second biggest mobile network operator, after a series of near misses and half baked solutions announced the scrapping of Telecash charges.
The real battle for subscribers is not about customer retention, while its fundamental, the real tact is all about fishing deeper to enlarge one`s base. Previously i once proved that promotions will not move subscribers to other mobile networks, the ploy Telecel has adamantly been using.
By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Everyone who has ever transacted any higher denomination in Zimbabwe via the mobile money services has complained about the outrageous charges, a move which demanded someone in the industry to swiftly bring a solution to the costly convenience.
It is not a secret that the success of mobile money transfer service is simply a game of numbers, and the higher the numbers you have, the more revenue you can generate, without necessarily getting into how sane, your charging system should be structured.
For Telecel, it seems it has finally dawned on them that they need to work on this special aspect first and learn to minimise any other noise they have been making and perfect the basic, golden rule, thou shall first go get the numbers.
Last week, Telecel made headlines after they announced the biggest news ever to hit the mobile money transfer services in Zimbabwe, in a statement, they announced that “Telecash customers can now send money for free to other registered Telecash subscribers, following a revision of Telecash charges that came into effect last Friday, 22 August 2014.”
This is the news that most Zimbabweans ever wanted hear. With the current system, it does not only defeat common sense but day light robbery when you are charged money for simply depositing it. This system is even a stranger to the conventional banking system in Zimbabwe.
Whether I’m depositing funds into my account or someone`s else why should anyone/ system charge me for doing so? The real service and convenience should be charged when i access the service, hence withdrawing the money and yes the nation should cry foul.
Ironically, when Econet pioneered, Ecocash, these charges were not visible, one could even directly deposit into anyone`s account before they silently changed the rules and forced anyone willing to cash in to bring own identification details to prove that you are not cashing into someone`s account, hence a free transfer was banned.
The system then made sure that the money transferred was taxed in both ends for the one that sends the total amount and to the one that actually receives the funds since there is a charge for transferring money from one`s wallet and another for the recipient.
With over 3.5million subscribers transacting on Ecocash, they may have fallen on the comfort bed as they make sure that every transaction made on the system brings them a fortune by the second, completely forgetting that its the same people they are milking that determines their survival in the market.
This has been a major discouragement and disappointment to the populace as the nation moves towards e-commecre and plastic money with convenience, forcing many to return back to the old systems as they try to save every hard earned penny they have.
Just this week, Telecel also announced that they have partnered Mukuru, a South African based money transfer service provider enabling Zimbabweans abroad to instantly transfer funds to their beloved ones directly into their Telecash accounts.
The statement said that “Telecel has partnered with Mukuru to enable their clients to instantly receive money, from South Africa, directly into their Telecash mobile wallets. The money will reflect instantly in the recipient’s Telecash wallet without any charges”.
The margins here are too huge as Eocash is charging $4,54 cents to send $400 plus registered subscriber, while a whooping $4.95 is effected on the other end for the recipient to cash out the funds, Telecash is only charging $4.90 for cashing out and wiped out cashing in charges.
For Telecel, they have presented themselves as a panacea to these ravelling problems, a move that will not only aid subscribers but will surely attract thousands of subscribers to move over to the network as daily cost related issues tend to influence behavioural change.
Since this really is a game of numbers, Telecel may need to escalate their game and consider slashing the cashing out charges even more, or slashing if possible, this is their only golden opportunity to win over the battle of subscribers and high risks will need to be taken for their future.
Netone`s one wallet has done well but seemed to have limited their scope to in house subscribers with only the ZESA payment deal being a major carrot dangled.