The Minister of Infomation Communication Technology and Cyber Security Supa Mandiwanzira has ordered mobile money transfer platforms, EcoCash, TeleCash And OneMOney to work together by the 1st of April 2018. The move is unlikely to be well received by EcoCash which holds more than 96 percent of the mobile money market. The government also owns or has a significant shareholding in the parent companies of EcoCash’s rivals, NetOne and Telecel. If the systems become interoperable, users will be able to send money from one platform to another seamlessly.
Here is the minister’s statement.
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND CYBER SECURITY
INTEROPERABILITY OF MOBILE MONEY PLATFORMS
The Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Cyber security would like to encourage the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), who offer digital financial services, to consider making their services completely interoperable.
We have noted with concern that whilst it is possible to send money to an unregistered customer on another network, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platforms for operators are not yet fully integrated hence wallet to wallet funds transfer have not yet been integrated.
The lack of Interoperability of the mobile money platforms of the networks is a major barrier to effective competition and stalls further progress in the development of mobile money services. Interoperability also brings convenience to consumers and the ease of doing business.
In the event that there is no interoperability across all networks by the set date of 1 April 2018, the government will take the appropriate measures to enhance compliance.
The Honourable Minister
Ministry of ICT and Cybersecurity
7th Floor Bank Chambers Building
76 Samora Machel Avenue
13 February 2018