Oxlink Capital to hold Mobile money & digital payments conference
OXLINK Capital Private Limited is organising the inaugural Mobile Money and Digital Payments Conference & Awards on July 27 at the Meikles Hotel, Harare.
The Conference will gather over 200 industry leaders and regulators to discuss progress made over the years in developing the ICT sector in Zimbabwe.
Mobile telecommunication companies are venturing into the financial services sector in pursuit of growth. With little prospects for growth in voice and SMS services, value added services that leverage on existing Global System for Mobile (GSM) infrastructure are the way to go.
In light of the narrowing tunnel in the voice and SMS area, mobile operators are tapping into the huge numbers of unbanked Zimbabweans through the provision of technology platforms that enhance financial inclusion and serve the unbanked.
All of Zimbabwe’s mobile network operators (MNOs) – Econet Wireless, Telecel and NetOne, are offering mobile money transfer services.
Oxlinks says mobile and electronic payments were defining the future.
“Telecoms companies and Banks are in fierce competition that, although requiring mutual synergies, has revolutionarised the industry and resulted in faster, cheaper and convenient banking and payments services outside the traditional brick and mortar structures,” said Oxlink in a statement.
Telecoms companies are setting the pace in terms of providing low-cost extensive banking services even in the remotest of all locations.
The conference comes as Econet Zimbabwe last month said its financial services platform, Ecocash had cumulatively transacted over US$11 billion in the last three and half years.
The EcoCash platform has been designed to now offer the debit card, payroll, bill payment services, Ecocash online and an airtime facility. Although the coming in of EcoCash has tremendously revolutionised banking and money transfer, it has often been suggested that the platform tends to lock their customers down by restricting transactions carried out on the platform to Econet subscribers only.
According to a latest Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) total value of mobile and internet based transactions registered a five percent decline in April to US$453,61 million from US$476,38 mainly affected by the holidays in the month. However the trend is expected to turn positive going forward.
Now that Telecoms companies have bolted, are banks catching up fast? Is there sufficient and fair regulation in the mobile money industry that is resulting in fair playfield between the Banks and Telecoms, and more importantly, are mobile money customers’ deposits safe? Is there scope for Telecoms players to share platforms to achieve scale and sustainability? Can mobile money eventually eliminate cash?
These are some of the issues that the Conference will debate and attempt to influence policy and regulation progressively in an effort to eliminate challenges that the mobile and digital payments industry is facing.