We reported it yesterday that there was a new development in the mobile money sector in Nigeria. The development also cross-links to the whole of Africa. Yes, you remember, right? It’s the partnership between Paga and MFS Africa. This time around, the new development is not in Nigeria, neither is it a partnership. The development is in Zambia this time.
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Zamtel, a telecommunications company in Zambia has launched a new mobile money service – Zamtel Kwacha.
Zamtel, whose official name is Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited, is a Zambian government-owned telecommunication operator. Zamtel is one of three mobile phone networks in the country.
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The license to work on mobile money was given to Zamtel in 2014 by the Bank of Zambia. Ever since then, Zamtel has been working on its mobile money section.
Zamtel, whose subscriber base boasts 1.7 million subscribers anticipates that the mobile money services will be extensively utilized. In fact, Zamtel acting CEO Sydney Mupeta hopes that the mobile money platform will get to the areas in Zambia where banking literacy is limited.
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“Zamtel Kwacha will help take financial services to the unbanked population, especially in the rural areas. So we are coming in to add to that financial inclusion.”
The competition from other telecommunications such as Airtel Zambia, Zoona and MTN Zambia is one that Zamtel wouldn’t take lightly. Also bearing it in mind that these other competitors are well established. This is why it is perceived that Zamtel Kwacha will come at a very affordable rate. Although, the Bank of Zambia has prescribed that for them.
According to the bank of Zambia, the current figures of bank accounts in Zambia stands at 1 million while the mobile money accounts in Zambia is close to 4 million. This shows how promising the sector is in the Zambian economy.
While focusing on the affordability of the platform, Mupeta said that the fact that Zamtel is a government-owned telecommunications company will ensure the service fees are very affordable.