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AfricaCom: TYME Capital upbeat about SA’s mobile money adoption


A mobile money solution from TYME Capital in partnership with mobile operator MTN and a retailer is taking off in South Africa, say officials

In countries such as Kenya, mobile money services such as M-Pesa have helped spur on 11.5 million mobile money users in the country, according to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).

But in South Africa, the rate of adoption has been slower, with experts pointing to the country’s developed banking sector.

TYME Capital’s mobile money system works via cash till points at retailers such as Pick ‘n Pay and Boxer stores.

It allows for instant money transfers to any local cellphone number, and for customers to pay for their shopping using their phones and receiving money from other banks.

TYME Capital, though, says the country’s already established banking market needs to be more interoperable.

And Speaking at the conference, Dominique Collett, head of strategic partnerships at TYME Capital South Africa, said the deployment of mobile money in the country must be easy and a quick and useful experience.

Collett explained it was at their third time attempt at working with South African mobile operator MTN and that they have witnessed a strong uptake of mobile money in the country.

Currently, TYME says it has 1.3 million customers of whom 950,000 have actively done transactions in the last six months, she said.

“The key to our success was two-fold: the first was that we had some innovation around banking regulation, we are able to create a viral account for someone and it allows anyone on any network on any SIM card on any phone to send money to someone and to create a bank account,” she explained.

“Secondly we managed to tap into Pick ‘n Pay’s money transfer system. Pick n Pay was replacing their old money transfer system and they allowed mobile money to be the replacement,” Collett said.

She added that mobile operators tend to go for a wallet led model as opposed to a bank led model.

“Traditionally, operators have adopted wallets but we believe that the banking model is best so that customers to move through a banking life cycle and go from a banking transactional account, to a savings account and into a home loan,” she said.

“In South Africa in particular because there is such a large banking infrastructure, we need to be able to provide customers access to such services,” she said.

Moussa Dao, director of Orange Money at Orange Botswana concluded by saying, “Mobile money is a complex ecosystem.”


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