Telecel Predictably Welcomes Mobile Money Interoperability

The ministry of ICT and Cyber Security, yesterday, ordered all MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) to make their mobile money platforms work together seamlessly.

Techzim reached out to all the operators and Telecel was the first to respond. Francis Chimanda, Telecel’s PR, CSR, and Sponsorship manager answered a few of the questions we had about the order given.

We asked Telecel a few questions about the order from the ministry. Here is the statement containing Telecel’s position in relation to the directive given to all operators by the Ministry of ICT and Cyber Security.

What do you think about this?
Telecel through the Telecash brand welcomes interoperability which will help our customers and the nation enjoy increased convenience while using mobile financial services from us and other operators. The banking community has adopted interoperability through the use of integrated platforms like Real Time Gross Settlement and ZimSwitch and there is no reason mobile financial service providers cannot do the same.

Is the deadline achievable?
Meeting the deadline is a function of the interoperability model that the sector decides to adopt. In our view, the most feasible and fastest way to achieve interoperability is through a national switch. As of now, Telecash and one other mobile network are on the ZIPIT platform and if all the three players were to join that platform then interoperability will be achieved.

Did you have a heads up?
As an industry, interoperability has always been a topical issue. The coming in of government into the discussion will certainly help in pushing for a speedy solution.

How will you respond?
Positively, as Telecash, we have always been interoperable – being on the ZIPIT platform for bank to wallet and wallet to bank transactions from day one. We also launched our own Telecash Gold Card in 2014 which is a debit card on the ZimSwitch platform.

Are operators in a position to work together?
We are not able to speak authoritatively for the entire industry but from the industry wide forums and platforms the desire to work together seems to be there when it comes to interoperability.
As indicated when we covered the interoperability order yesterday, we felt Telecel and NetOne would be in agreement with this move as Telecash and OneMoney had a combined market share of about 2.02% (as of Oct 2017).

Telecel seems to be welcoming the move by the ministry but they do seem to be making suggestions on how they would prefer to go about this. They think adopting ZimSwitch’s ZIPIT platform would help ensure the deadline is met. ZIPIT would probably be beneficial because all mobile operators would be tapping into an already existing platform. This would lessen the work needed to get Ecocash, Telecash, and OneMoney working in unison.

Telecel’s statement also seems to suggest the operators were not blindsided as they highlighted that the issue has ‘always been topical.’ If the operators were aware of this beforehand then this order may come at a time when all three operators are ready to work together in relation to mobile money solutions.

Econet and NetOne are yet to respond and we will cover their response’s as they come through…–techzim

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