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Customer is king as Zambia's mobile money market expands

Customer is king as Zambia's mobile money market expands.

Zambia's mobile money market is set to grow as operators like MTN announce initiatives designed to expand the customer base.

MTN is Zambia's largest telecom operator with 5 million customers on its network, representing a potential mobile money user base of 5 million.

The company's head of mobile money Wane Ng'ambi has told ITWeb Africa that the operator has launched a campaign to "put all its voice customers on mobile money" in order to grow its customer base.

Ng'ambi said so far, MTN Zambia has 1.5 million mobile money customers and records as many transactions, on average, per month. However, he adds that more people are now subscribing to the service.

"People are slowly beginning to appreciate mobile money services. Our friends in East Africa as well as West Africa are really utilising mobile money (more) than this part of the continent, but things are slowly changing," he said.

Ng'ambi said many organisations, including small and medium enterprises, are now using MTN mobile money to pay for products and services.

MTN Zambia and Airtel are the only mobile phone companies currently providing mobile money services to customers. However, Zamtel (Zambia Telecommunications Company) is expected to join the mix when it receives the required license from the Central Bank.

Last month, Airtel Zambia said its mobile money has grown by approximately 300% between 2014 and 2015, adding that corporate clients are now using the platform to pay employee salaries.

Airtel claims it has close to 4 million mobile money customers.

The increase use of mobile money in Zambia is fuelled by greater availability and use of mobile phones, both in rural and urban areas.

Operators are trying to reach customers in rural areas to increase their customer base and improve on their balance sheets, according to the Central Bank.

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