Mascom Wireless, the cell-phone network company said Friday that it is aiming to reach 1.5 million subscribers through product mobile money service that it is passionately spending on its promotion.
The country’s IT savvy, network said the product dubbed “MyZaka” a street term meaning “ my money” is said to easy life for both the unbanked and the banked communities of this country.
At least 60 percent of the population of this country is believed to be either unbanked or under- banked, however, cell-phone penetration in Botswana is one of the highest in the African continent.
A country with a population of 1.8 million people records a subscriber base of over 2.5 millionÔÇömeaning that over 25 percent of the people have more than one mobile cell-phoneÔÇöthough some might not be active.
“MyZaka Mascom Money is a Mobile Money product that Mascom has had in the market since April this year, making Mascom the first mobile operator to introduce this service in Botswana,” Dzene Makwadi-Seboni , said this week.
Since June, the product got a massive promotional back-up in terms of marketing in a bid to bolster its image because it reaches all corners of the country including the most remote areas that do not have a banking agency to say the least.
“MyZaka has been MyZaka has been well received by the market as it meets a key need which is the ability to perform basic banking services securely. Sending money to another person without having to travel there physically is a huge advantage for many who support extended families or have to send money for any reason to another location.
“MyZaka Mascom Money can also be used to keep money up to P4,000 in a secure and free of charge manner working just like an electronic wallet. We are currently enhancing the scope of available services and easy payments of selected Utility bills will be unveiled soon,” she said.
Truly, trying to address primitive concerns in the fast developing world MyZaka seems to be the answer in a third world country like Botswana.
The product is aimed at complimenting the already existing brick and mortar frame work of the financial sector that started to operate during the slavery trade era.
“As you know, the cellphone banking services are done in partnership with Mascom and we were the first mobile operator to introduce it in 2006 with one of our banking partners. Therefore in everything we do we want to complement the cellphone banking offer, not to compete with it. Having said that, the MyZaka is not linked to having a bank account with any particular bank. It is a service that is accessible to both the banked and the unbanked population,” Mascom said this week.
It said the trust account that it currently maintains is held with the country’s biggest commercial bank, Barclays Bank of Botswana regulated by the Banking Regulator.
Some of the benefits which MyZaka offers its customers the ability to make varied transaction over the cell-phone hand set without getting into the banking hall.
The product is keyed in favour of the Mascom subscribers, according to Seboni.