OneMoney, owned by Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile phone operator, Netone, had a 28 percent increase in the number of subscribers in the third quarter but it still has a long way to catch up with Ecocash, the country’s biggest mobile money platform.
The number of OneMoney subscribers increased from 335 132 in the second quarter to 428 529 but this was a far cry from Ecocash’s 6.7 million subscribers, according to the latest figures from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ).
Although OneMoney’s market share increased from 4.8 percent to 6 percent and Ecocash’s dropped from 94.4% to 93.3%, Ecocash still dominated transactions accounting for 99.7% of the total value.
Netone chief exective Lazarus Muchenje said in October his mobile phone company will surpass Ecocash within 24 months, but he implied that he was not competing with Econet, which is owned by Zimbabwe’s richest man, Strive Masiyiwa.
“We choose to compete with ourselves and to try and be world-class because we do not believe that at this stage there is anyone world-class in this market in as far as mobile payments are concerned and I say that with a lot of respect and knowledge given that I was in this space way before the guys that are doing it here,” Muchenje told publisher Trevor Ncube in an interview.
“So I think that if we can be world-class as NetOne, we will be number one and that is going to take us 24 months to put that ecosystem in place, the people and the infrastructure in place.”
The POTRAZ figures are for the period ending September which was way before Ecocash had major operational problems which may have forced some to change platforms.
OneMoney tried to cash in on this by scrapping all transaction charges, except the government 2 % tax, until the end of he year.