In a bid to boost mobile banking, the country’s second biggest mobile operator Telecel Zimbabwe on Wednesday launched a Gold Card for its Telecash customers. Unlike the usual way of sending and receiving mobile money the debit card would be used to pay for goods and services at any of the more than 5 000 ZimSwitch points of sale across the country.
It is the first mobile phone network to have issued debit cards for its mobile cash account holders.Speaking at the official ceremony, the head of Telecel Mobile Financial Services Nkosinathi Ncube said the launch of the debit card is in response to the need of broadening financial inclusion of its customers, mainstream banks and members of the public. “The debit card will go a long way in assisting mobile banking and also improve lives by offering convenience to the public,” she said.
The card can also be used to pay for groceries, DSTV subscriptions, restaurant and hotel bills. It can also be used to withdraw cash at ZimSwitch branded automated teller machines (ATMs). This Telecash gold card integration is the second integration phase between Telecash and ZimSwitch. On launch Telecash integrated to ZimSwitch for the ZimSwitch Instant Payment Interchange Technology (ZIPIT) functionality where funds can be transferred instantly from any Telecash wallet to any ZIPIT certified bank account (Telecash Wallet-to-Bank Account).
It can also reversely transfer money from any ZIPIT certified bank account to any Telecash wallet. Banked individuals can now send funds instantly to any Telecash account from any of the existing delivery channels already available in Zimbabwe. These include POS (Points of Sale), ATM, Mobile Banking and Internet Banking.
Ncube said Telecash believes in financial inclusion through the Telecash APIs such that if retailers and banks prosper also Telecash prosper. Registered active subscribers will get the card for free from any Telecel office or registered Telecash operators. Telecel also added that they are already in negotiations with the VISA and Mastercard who are world renowned and to enable to go worldwide. Since the inception of Telecash on 29 January 2014, Telecel mobile company now has more than 25%percent of Telecel subscribers which is the equivalent of 600 000 subscribers.