Kuronda Venture Partners (KVP), a local indigenous private investment firm has partnered wiGroup International to roll out the adoption of a mobile transaction platform (wiPlatform) at the point of sale (mPOS) targeted at the local retail sector especially supermarkets.
By Tongai Mwenje
The wiPlatform is an open and interoperable system allowing mobile transacting at the point of sale, delivering value through mobile coupons and vouchers, mobile money transfers, mobile rewards and mobile payments bringing benefits to retailers, customers and merchants. Retailers who integrate to this platform can accept any mobile transaction application enabling them to transact and interact in a swift, secure and convenient manner, using their mobile phones.
wiGroup specialises in the provision of this point-of-sale integrated mobile transacting platform. This open and interoperable mobile transacting platform, wiPlatform, is currently integrated to over 40,000 retail till lanes across South Africa and has processed over R2 billion in transaction value and counting.
This is coming at the back of a phenomenal growth in mobile money transactions with most local banks already providing their customers with mobile banking services whilst all three mobile network operations are providing mobile money solutions to their subscribers allowing people without bank accounts to transact through their phones.
The Central Bank has already released telling metrics with mobile transactions surging by 55, 6% whilst point of sale transactions also grew significantly by 47% according to its weekly economic highlights for the first week of April 2014. With Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration rate currently sitting at over 100%, and many people owning a mobile phone, the future of transacting is no doubt MOBILE and we see demand for this technology taking a significant uptick in the short-term.
Today, people use their mobile phones for all sorts of transactions, from checking their bank balances, buying and sending airtime, receiving and sending money, through to paying for goods and services. These mobile phone users are active, smart and stylish! To put it into context, and with at least 40% of Econet subscribers currently on Ecocash and its competitors Telecash and OneWallet achieving tremendous signups, the future of mobile transacting can never be under estimated.
In spite of the current economic challenges the country is facing there is and will continue to be considerable growth in mobile point of sale transacting hence our decision to seize this colossal opportunity to introduce this technology at the back of both encouraging local and global growth forecasts. The failings and closures of some banks over the years, in which innocent citizens lost their hard earned savings has made Zimbabweans livid with traditional banking and now prefer to keep their money in mobile wallets as opposed to depositing into banks which has also made it easier for them to pay for goods and services.
As things stand, there is no one wallet or application that can do everything with some banks incurring huge costs in setting up in-store ATM points and what wiGroup has developed is a simple and ever-evolving ecosystem that brings together customers, retailers, brands, agencies, banks, mobile networks, and local and global app developers through this one interoperable platform.
There is evidently a lot of money sitting in these mobile wallets and accounts and customers are still going through complex transactions and processes enduring long queues in some cases to unlock and access their cash before they can pay for their goods. This will soon be a problem of the past as the wiPlatform specifically address all these challenges.
Local retailers’ already have compliant point of sale systems as well as the requisite network configurations that’s needed to integrate and all parties will derive value from integrating to our platform. Retailers and mobile wallets providers will reach out to more customers whilst customers will have greater flexibility and access to their money.
This secure technology has already been successfully operationalized in south Africa where wiGroup has managed to integrated some major retailers like Pick n Pay, Checkers, Shoprite, KFC, Nandos to name but a few.
As KVP, we have deliberately preferred to partner wiGroup for their reputation, success and expertise to implement this prudently selected game-changing mobile payment innovation in the country and we are confident of the value and contribution that we will make to the economy.
We are geared to deliver exceptional value and efficiencies to retailers and mobile applications providers through this platform and transform and simplify the entire mobile point of sale transaction experience.
This new mPOS solution will give retailers a new way to extend their retail mobile strategies and engage customers in a more personalized and efficient way.
wiGroup and Kuronda Venture Partners will be engaging with retailers, mobile wallet providers and other merchants during the first week of July 2014 to promote the uptake of this technology and leverage on the growth in mobile technology by rolling out this convenient technology in Zimbabwe.