By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito and Tongai Mwenje
Zimpost has unveiled a first, by launching the only international money transfer system in Zimbabwe which can send money outside the country, posed to be a game a changer.
Zimpost, traditionally a postal service provider has hooked to the digital age and recently unveiled a money transfer service coined Zipcash.
The minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Webster Shamu commended Zimpost during the launch in a programme called “Unpack a box” promotion.
We fully remember the frustration that we faced when we tried to send some very few Rands to a friend in South Africa who desperately, and urgently needed them to get his things moving on.
Well honestly we did not know all these money transfer agencies in Zimbabwe can only receive money but can’t send outside Zimbabwe, i knocked door by door, from Mukuru, western union and any other big brand that you can think of and to our disappointed we were told we cant send the bucks via them.
We even thought of the most innovative Ecocash, and much to our disappointment we were told that would be happening soon as the pilot tests are now at advanced stages in South Africa, but all this really did not solve our pressing problems and surely cursed the idea that Zimbabweans can only receive money instantly from any other country yet they can’t send.
This kind of rubber stamps the mind-set that we are just but too poor to plan any system to send money outside Zimbabwe and rather concentrate on only receiving. Ofcourse this is a rather a much more emotional phase that we had to personally deal with.
Besides the unconfirmed speculation that the authorities are denying players licence to send out money to safeguard coffers against laundering, We may believe this could be a rather “fictional” position.
The Zimpost General Manager Mr Zimhango revealed that the RBZ gave them the authority to transfer money locally and internationally although it was not clear whether the statement meant they have the licence.
This new system allows Zimbabweans to send and receive money locally and internationally through the world wide postal network.
Speaking of sleeping on golden eggs, thumbs to the Zimpost team for finally discovering that they have been actually farming carrots in a goldmine.
The new ZipCash service can send as much as $4 000 per day outside the country and as the project takes off, only Botswana and Tanzania are already connected.
Ofcourse there is still disappointment on the South Africa Chapter but Zimpost hinted that plans are already underway to complete that puzzle since millions of Zimbabweans are in South Africa than in any other country.
An insider source told TechnoMag that a minimum of $8 will be charged per transaction up to a maxmum of $19. The transactions will be done in batches of $500 maxmum up to a to total of $4 000. The ZipCash transaction bands ranges from $10-$1000 range $101 –$200 and so forth.
“Zipcash is a money transfer service that sits on an electronic platform called IFS and allows for domestic and international money transfer. Let me thank the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for allowing Zimpost to transfer money outside Zimbabwe.
“With a network of 760 000 post offices worldwide, money transfer has been made easy and convenient through Zipcash and this will enable easy transfer of university fees and cash for cross-border traders.
“It will also allow for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to send money back home through the post office,” he said.
Zimpost general manager Mr Douglas Zimhango said the IFS system which the company will be using was developed by the Universal Postal Union, the mother body of all post offices in the world.
The People’s Own Savings Bank will be acting as an agent facilitating the mobile banking platform for this service.
The company launched the second edition of “Unpack a Box” promotion in partnership with NetOne, Econet Wireless, Henlow Stationery Distributors, Courier Connect, POSB, Champions Insurance and NicozDiamond.
The promotion will be run for a period of three months until mid-January 2014 during which monthly prizes will be won with a total give away value worth US$400 000 with prizes such as motor vehicles, generators, Samsung Galaxy phones and fridges.
An insider with Zimpost divulged that this is just a tip of the ice bag as the company is moving away from the traditional postal service focus to much more innovative digital systems.