Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile network
operator in terms of subscribers, Telecel, and ZimSwitch, a third
party acquiring business that is affiliated to 13 Zimbabwean banks,
have come together to enable banks in Zimbabwe to offer their
customers an affordable and easy-to-use mobile banking service.

The new m-banking facility is aimed at customers with existing
bank accounts as well as people with no bank account – including
those in rural areas – who could register for mobile banking.

The primary objective behind the Telecel and ZimSwitch m-banking
venture is to provide mobile banking at a minimal cost and make it
easily available to people who have not previously held bank

The m-banking service will enable customers to use their
cellphone to transfer, send, deposit, withdraw money, and pay for
goods and services.

Zimbabwe-based banks Central Africa Building
Society (CABS), People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB), and Interfin
Bank, are the first three banks to go live with the mobile banking
service from Telecel, and ZimSwitch. CABS has already launched the
service last week and is calling it Textacash.

Another eight banking institutions are expected to go live with
the new mobile banking service within the next two months, it has
been reported.

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Telecel is providing the mobile banking platform. ZimSwitch is
providing the link or switch between banks. ZimSwitch has
previously done the same things to enable customers of different
banks to make use of each other’s ATMs and POS terminals.

Mobile banking customers will be able to deposit money into and
withdraw money from their accounts at any bank or bank agency –
including post offices, supermarkets and stores – where a ZimSwitch
Ready logo is displayed.

Money can be sent instantly through the cellphone to anyone else
with a cellphone, regardless of the recipient’s cellphone network.
The recipient receives a text notification of the amount
transferred and a transaction reference number. The sender has to
then contact the recipient with a secret code.

The recipient can receive the money by taking the information
provided in the money transfer message, and the secret code, to an
outlet with a ZimSwitch Ready sign, along with an identity

To register for the new service, a Telecel line and identity
card are required. The platform is open to all banks.

A similar m-banking service, Ecocash, was recently launched
earlier in September by Econet.