NetOne’s OneMoney Takes Mobile Money Industry By Storm

Converged mobile network operator NetOne has finally delivered its much awaited mobile money service platform, OneMoney after the first version, OneWallet struggled to get market acceptance.

This time, the state owned telecom operator has got it right as the newly re-branded service is getting overwhelming response from the market with most of its shops struggling to meet demand of the OneMoney’s debit card.

NetOne is schedule to officially unveil the mobile money service and its Zimswitch-enabled debit card by month end, as the reawakened giant continues to widen its product range after the successful introduction of OneFusion, One-Fi, One-Cliq, and many other products.

OneMoney has been test marketed for the past two months with NetOne delaying the official launch to allow time for more feedback from the users, confirmed George Manyaya, NetOne’s PR & Special Projects Executive.

The NetOne marketing team was in Murehwa last week imitating one of the roll-out series of the syndicated mobile payment platform. The first campaign was done in partnership with Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, TelOne, Metbank and Moonlight.

NetOne was the first mobile operator to introduce a mobile money service in the form of OneWallet back in 2009. Unfortunately, the service failed to conquer subscribers due to poor marketing and continuous development of the service.

That window gave perennial pacesetters Econet Wireless to massively push their own version, EcoCash which has been ruling the roost since its introduction to the market in 2011. Ecocash managed to gain monopolistic advantage, claiming over 50% market share in the mobile money industry ahead of its competitors, Telecash and OneWallet.

With reference from the first quarter report released by POTRAZ early this year, Zimbabwe recorded a sharp fall in the number of mobile money subscribers from 3, 303, 188 in the quarter ending December 31 2016 to 3 251 784 at the beginning of this year. The fall was mainly fueled by the prevailing cash crisis which drastically decreased the number of cash-ins, the critical part of the mobile money business.

Refreshingly, in that period NetOne recorded a 22,6% growth in active mobile money subscribers during that period to 10 097. Telecel registered a 5,1% growth in active subscribers enlarging its mobile money users to 52 076. In the same period, Econet’s active mobile money subscribers inversely fell by 1,7% to 3 189 611.