It has been a hassle to really feel the mobileness of the mobile money system in Zambia, not just for MTN, due to the limitations that have been there. For example, Mobile Money means your money should obviously be able to to be transferred to other financial platforms using just your mobile phone but this has clearly not been the case yet.
If you had money you needed to transfer from your bank account to your MTN Mobile Money account you first had to withdraw it from a bank or ATM, then search for a Mobile Money agent or Service Centre, deposit the money into your Mobile Money account, and then transfer it to another MTN Mobile Money account holder, or you could deposit the money directly into their account, beating the whole purpose of money being ‘mobile’.
So, to address that issue, MTN Zambia has decided to roll out the Mobile Money platform to banks to reduce on the need for customers to have to move from one place to another at all. All they will need is their phone, regardless of what make it is. This initiative is set to roll out sometime next month (September).
MTN Zambia’s Chief Sales and Distribution Officer Amon Jere was speaking to news agencies at the 88th Agricultural and Commercial Show saying the move would increase the functionality of the mobile money platform by integrating it into the banking sector.
The new Mobile Money service will use the Ericsson mobile commerce (m-commerce) platform to carry out this move. The Ericsson m-commerce service uses mobile platforms such as Mobile Money by telecoms companies to connect the m-commerce world with the financial sector much easily.
According to the Ericsson website, the company is ‘focused on connecting banks, money transfer organizations, payment service organizations and Internet service providers to create a modern financial ecosystem… a major force behind GSM, 3G and LTE and now set out to do the same for mobile money.’
The goal is just to connect the m-commerce already in existence to the existing banking sector, without the user having to feel the burden of having to move from one point to another to be the link between the two facilities.
Airtel Zambia already has stable connections to the banking sector via the COMVIVA platform to Ecobank, Citi Bank, ZANACO and Finance bank, with more banks expected to be integrated soon.
Zamtel is yet to even roll out a Mobile Money service but we expect it to be announced soon seeing as its internal pilot application was approved by the Bank of Zambia.
The thing is, if the need to walk into an outlet or service centre can be totally eliminated, then the full goal of a mobile money platform has been reached.
May the best m-commerce service win!
Image Credit: Know Your Mobile