ONEMONEY, NetOne’s new mobile money platform, is expected to transform the mobile money service provision across the country through accessibility, affordability and relevance, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday. Information Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, said this during the launch of OneMoney in Harare last night.
OneMoney effectively slams the door on OneWallet that was launched in 2011, but encountered operational hurdles before being suspended. Said Minister Mandiwanzira: “This product must now change the face of mobile money service provision in Zimbabwe. As the world experiences a global decline in the reliance on cash for transaction purposes, mobile money payments must drive significant lifestyle changes for Zimbabwean consumers.
“It is the expectation of the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services that OneMoney will not only deliver much needed competition in the mobile money space, but also must enhance general socio-economic development in Zimbabwe. I know this has been a long and difficult process, but the real work lies ahead. As shareholder, Government expects that OneMoney will make a cost-effective contribution that ultimately delivers a profitable outcome and a dividend.” Minister Mandiwanzira implored NetOne management to aggressively implement rural and under-serviced areas financial inclusion strategies.
“It is the expectation of Government that OneMoney is utilised in all spheres of society; in schools, churches, traditional leadership, cotton farmers, tobacco farmers, pensioners and merchants,” he said. OneMoney joins two other mobile money platforms — EcoCash and Telecash — which were already offering the service. Ecocash currently dominates mobile money transactions, but Government believes competition is essential in the digital ecosystem to reduce transaction costs and also bring customer-driven innovation by service providers.
During the third edition of the Mobile Money and Digital Payments Conference this year, Minister Mandiwanzira expressed concern over monopolistic tendencies in the telecommunications sector. And last night, he reiterated that “it is of grave concern to us as Government that a lot of people rely on a single supplier for a critical service such as mobile money services”.
“The OneMoney platform is therefore a welcome addition for Zimbabwean consumers,” said Minister Mandiwanzira. He called upon operators to engage on issues to do with connectivity and integration of mobile money services across networks, saying that will provide convenience to customers. Minister Mandiwanzira said there should be “some objectivity, urgency and sincerity”, as operators engage on matters pertaining to connectivity and integration. This comes as operators have been haggling over a range of issues particularly sharing agents and allowing subscribers to send money across other service providers. NetOne CEO Brian Mutandiro, said they decided to reintroduce a mobile money service after being “inundated with requests” from citizens wanting “an efficient” system.
“We knew the nation was anxiously waiting for this platform but we decided to make sure we get all things into place and ensure we come to you with one good product and never let you down. “We are cognisant of the fact that millions of subscribers have migrated to our network and kept on holding other network provider lines because they could not efficiently do mobile transfers using our previous platform,” said Mr Mutandiro.
NetOne’s vision for OneMoney is to create “better and happier” everyday lives for millions of citizens. Due to paper money shortages, Zimbabwe is transitioning from the cash phase to cash-lite transactions in line with global trends. Mr Mutandiro said they would ensure that OneMoney is accessible “even in the remotest parts of the country”. OneMoney would be used for several transactions including paying for utilities, while the debit card will allow users to make payments at any ZimSwitch POS machine. This is expected to deepen financial inclusion in the country. The OneMoney debit card will be sold for $3.
“What this means is that Zimbabweans now have a choice on which mobile payment platform to use and this eradicates a monopoly like scenario at the same time brings about competition and the consumers are the winners,” said Mr Mutandiro. According to the mobile world congress statistics (2017), there are 500 million mobile money wallets around the world and almost every minute, 30 000 transactions are processed. Mobile money is available in 92 countries across the globe and transactions worth $22 billion are done in one month.