Said Pieter Uys, Vodacom Group CEO in a statement: “There are other cell phone
banking products and money transfer services out there, but there quite simply
is nothing like M-Pesa. The beauty of this service is the ease and speed with
which people can send money to each other anywhere in the country.”
Vodacom’s commercial director Romeo Kumalo says the telecom’s target is to sign
up 10 million customers within three years. According to Mark Taylor the MD of
Vodacom Payment Services, securing more than 10 million users on the new M-Pesa
service will not only be more than 50 per cent of Vodacom’s subscriber base, but
will be a springboard for the mobile telephony company that will give it enough
traction to bring in more mobile subscribers to their network.
Mobile companies in Africa will double up as commercial banks for the poor.
for the first time.
According to Zain, which is currently operational in a dozen African countries,
its new Zap service makes it the world’s biggest mobile commerce operator in
terms of geographic coverage, service functionalities and connected subscribers.
Aside from cash transfers, the new service from Zain allows its subscribers to
perform a series of other financial transactions from their cell phones that
include paying for their utility bills.
According to Zain, Zap is an integral
part of Zain's pioneering One Network
platform, which means that its
customers from one country will be
able to enjoy the same services when
traveling to another country with a
Zain: The world’s biggest mobile commerce operator
Zain, Kenya’s second largest mobile company and one of the continent’s largest
mobile companies (which was recently acquired by India’s Bharti AirTel) has also
recently unveiled its Zap mobile banking application in Kenya, Uganda and
Tanzania. The mobile firm has also launched the mobile banking service in other
countries including Sierra Leone, Niger and Malawi.
Currently, Zap is Africa’s most comprehensive and accessible mobile commerce
service, now serving over 150 million people in six countries on the continent.
According to Zain, the new service is allowing its subscribers to access
advanced financial services though their mobile phones.
With a population of just under one
billion people in Africa, most of these
people, some from some of the world’s
poorest countries such as Niger and
Malawi, are accessing financial services
Zain network. The One Network
platform offered by Zain allows its
customers to cross geographic borders
without any roaming surcharges while
they can make calls and text at local
rates at the same time.
It is, therefore, an indubitable fact that the ability to pay for goods and
services, without necessarily carrying hard cash is universally appealing, more
so in Africa where crime rates are high. This remains one of the main reasons
why mobile banking is such an appealing proposition in Africa and why the
continent leads the rest of the world in embracing mobile telephony commerce
And with the millions of unbanked Africans seeking alternative financial service
avenues, all indications point to the mobile phone in their hands as their most
probable bank account. Simply put, mobile companies in Africa will double up as
commercial banks for the poor.