Technology Forces Zimpost To Diversify?


With indecent haste, the digital revolution has consigned many of our once-cherished artefacts to the dustbin of history. Though enthusiasts and obsessives have stayed loyal to pre-digital formats, for the rest of us it feels like the gramophone record, the photographic print, the analogue recording studio and the darkroom have been cast aside, rendered all but obsolete by a digitally driven culture that devours all that preceded it. Soon, we are told, the newspaper and the book may share the same fate.

By Tongai Mwenje

In response to the high speeds of the digital vehicle, Zimpost last year introduced a money transfer facility called ZipCash which is a direct competition to mobile money transfer such as Telecash, One wallet and Ecocash, showing their preparedness to move with time.

The banner placed right in the central business centre by Zimbabwe Post Office, is in its different ways, a reaction to digital culture’s fast-forward momentum. They have predestined the imminence of digital take off in the future to come.

Over the past few years, the rapid growth in the use of electronic mobile devices has made the postal business less relevant. At the end of 2013, the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe reported mobile penetration had reached 103 percent. There are about 13,5 million registered mobile phone accounts in a country of 13 million people.

Now, the banner flighted on their Harare Main Post Building is a sign that they are ready to diversify, the then analogue specialist company has come to terms with digital reality lest they become a white elephant. Apart from the money transfer facility, the government parastatal is now offering retail services, real estate services and agency services as the banner depicts.

Gone are the days when people would now and again check their mail boxes. Now, people all over the country check the in-box.

The market has changed. Zimpost has shown that it is prepared to diversify and look for other avenues that keep them in business. They have also embraced information technology, which plays a big role in information dissemination, courier services and in moving money.

Zimpost was handling 100 million pieces of mail yearly in 2010, but is now carrying only 14 million. Total revenue has slumped to US$20 million, and this an indication that people are no longer dealing with mails as a form of information dissemination, this huge reduction in terms of mail volumes then pushed alerted the parastatal to quickly change to better enterprising options.

Zimpost is now proud of its Zipcash flagship, a money transfer service that sits on an electronic platform called IFS and provides domestic and international money transfers.

The move by Zimpost is a sign that we are now living in an era where everything have been digitalised and can be accessed by a click of mouse, or tap of a smartphone or tablet. We are waiting to see where this digital advancing procession is taking us to. It’s a true reflection of adoption and acceptance by some companies.

Brace for this forced technological innovation

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