This week has seen some interesting developments in the Mobile money sector intitially stemming from the recent RBZ directive banning Cash In and Cash Out prompted us to go on the streets to analyze and assess the impact of this directive, especially for emerging players such as NetOne’s mobile financial services product One Money. Speaking to some of the One Money users , they revealed to our publication that they had not experienced any challenges on the One Money platform and also unpacked some of the unique benefits this platform has. They also expressed relief on the restoration of the Cash In and Cash Out functionality by the Reserve Bank in a Press Statement released yesterday.
We interviewed a One Money Agents who spoke on condition of anonymity and said “We are happy with the fact that the RBZ has reconsidered the Cash In and Cash Out ban as some of us have been using this facility to service customers who would have received their funds via OnePay from Cottco, which funds reflect as a Cash In which is totally from legal activities.” He reiterated that “ not all agents are in the business of selling cash or fuelling the forex market. Some of us have benefitted from our agent lines as an enabler for ethical mobile money transactions and are grateful of the service we receive from One Money”
This prompted us to reach out to NetOne and confirm if indeed One Money has managed to stay afloat amidst developments within the Mobile Financial Services Sector. Over the past 3 months ending 30 September 2019, OneMoney active subscribers grew by 97% from 215 000 subscribers to 425 000, which made us curious as to how this has been achieved.
The growth in NetOne’s OneMoney fortunes can be attributed to some unique offerings which have proved to be beneficial to the customers. A great example of this is the bulk payment facility – OnePay which has provided relief to several corporates as it offers convenient, seamless and instant multi-wallet salary disbursements. NetOne Head of Public Relations, Dr Eldrette Shereni confirmed this development and indicated that “the OnePay facility has been well received by several institutions including corporates mainly for salary and stipend payments, NGOs, farmers, as well as institutions that process grants and other social security payments only to mention a few .’
This facility is one of the feeders into the OneMoney Ecosystem from an enterprise or B2B Level. At individual level, there are several convenient methods which can be used to fund the One Money Wallet. The most exciting is the fact that One Money is integrated to all 18 banks via the ZIPIT Facility which allows clients to transfer funds seamlessly from bank to wallet and vice versa using the ZIPIT Platform. Further to this, One Money subscribers can send and receive funds through the Peer to Peer functionality allowing them to send funds to their loved ones across the country, as well as pay for goods and services to any NetOne number
Responding to the latest press statement from RBZ relating to the restoration of the Cash In and Cash Out Dr Shereni also confirmed that “the Cash in and Cash Out functionality has since been restored on One Money with Cash out limits now ZW$100 per transaction up to a maximum of ZW$1,000 per day. Cash in limits are ZW$1,000 per transaction to a maximum limit of ZW$10,000 per day as stipulated by the regulator – RBZ”
In order to create a sustainable ecosystem at grassroot and community level, NetOne has recruited One Money Champions who are individuals within communities to activate and register small shops, vendors, commuter omnibuses etc. on One Money to enable them to pay for basic services without the need for cash. This initiative is an empowerment tool for communities who are now able to earn commissions for every successful registration and activation onto One Money and is yielding results. In addition, NetOne increased its distribution footprint through the creation of over 1000 franchises across several communities and rural business centres to ensure that they offer real time, on demand and round the clock access to NetOne products & services including the ability to register on One Money within the respective communities.
Individuals can also earn money on the go through the One TopUp facility which allows anyone to sell electronic airtime at a 10% commission. By simply dialing *111*5# and following the prompts, one can sell airtime which is credited instantly either to themselves or to a selected number. This facility has been extremely popular especially amongst the youth and is an opportunity for even the working class to generate additional income through airtime sales.
One Money has also improved its merchant network and this remains a critical focus for the business. However, to enhance the customer experience and plug any merchant gaps, One Money comes with a Zimswitch enabled debit card hence allowing customers to swipe at any POS machine nationwide. In selected outlets, one actually does not even require their phone or debit card as they can simply punch in their mobile number and pin code directly to the POS machine which has redefined the shopping experience in Zimbabwe.
NetOne realizes that often times a person may require emergency funds. One Money offers a microloan dubbed Katsaona which allows someone to borrow up to ZWL$50 in a fast, easy process which takes less than 3 minutes. The loan can be repaid within 30 days with a 10% interest charge. Last week, NetOne CEO Mr Lazarus Muchenje also unveiled yet another service accessible via the One Money platform and that is electronic payments to Zimra at both business and individual level. This service is accessible by simply dialing *554#.
Across the market, mobile money services have seen an upsurge in transactions volumes in line with the scarcity of cash and NetOne’s investment in digital payment solutions is certainly paying off.