Barclays bank has partnered Econet and Telecel to spearhead their mobile money service called Hello Money. This ironically is a direct competitor to Ecocash and Telecash mobile money transfer services. Barclays Hello Money is an additional channel for Barclays bank customers to transact via their mobile phones.
“We can confirm that we are currently in partnership with Econet and Telecel”, says the Head of Corporate Affairs and Customer Service, Emily J. Nemapare.
By Tongai Mwenje
This is quite unusual, isn’t it?
Hello Money offers options to transfer funds from a registered account to another Barclays Zimbabwe account. The channel also provides for airtime top up, mini statements and balance enquiries. Hello Money is currently available on the Econet and Telecel networks.
The product is a closed platform mainly targeting its client across the nation. The application can be accessed via USSD code *229# and only available to registered clients. You need to be a Barclays Bank account holder to relish the services that come with Hello Money. Hello Money, Master Card and Debit Card are supporting channels that complement each other and provide alternative avenues for customer transactions.
The Hello Money platform is free and customers do not require mobile data or any balance to actively transact on the platform. Customers will incur transactional charges for mini-statement (USD0.07), balance inquiry (USD0.07), transfers (USD0.60) and bill payments (Charges depend on the Biller) excluding airtime transfer which is a free service.
Zimbabwe is among few countries in Africa that has a large number of customers using non-formal banking compared to traditional banking. Sub-Saharan Africa has become the bedrock of mobile banking, pushing its penetration over six times the global average of mobile banking users.
In Zimbabwe, a country with over 100 per cent mobile penetration rate, the nation’s biggest telecommunications companies, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne through their EcoCash, One Wallet and TeleCash products, account for nearly 5 million users.
Customers are increasingly seeking omni-channels to transact on, from anywhere, at any time and on multiple channels. Commenting on their mobile banking product, Head of Corporate Affairs and Customer Service, Emily J. Nemapare, “Hello Money is one of our channels that provide a low cost, flexible transactional platform for Barclays account holders whilst facilitating faster and efficient service.”
“Barclays is committed to providing transactional convenience to customers whilst allowing them the freedom to choose which channel is easiest for them to transact from. We want our customers to do more of the things that they enjoy so we make it a priority to create products and services that allow them to do so. Hello Money does exactly that.”
The uptake of mobile banking in Zimbabwe has proved to be massive with reference to the latest Potraz 3rd Quarter report. A significant number of people are ditching the traditional banking to mobile banking under the pretext of its simplicity. With a mobile carrier phone number and a mobile banking user account, users can deposit, withdraw and transfer money, pay bills and merchants for goods and services at the click of a button or through an agent at a convenient store anywhere in the country.
Traditional banks require bankers to be present at a location to conduct similar business but these institutions are able to provide financial assistance outside of these products. The Barclays bank team has demonstrated that they can meet technological necessities by their client.
“At Barclays, we are cognisant of the fact that our customers are part of a global community that is driven by technological advances. Through continuous product development we aim to remain relevant to our stakeholders and ensure that we keep in line with the ever changing environment”, Emily said.
She also said Hello Money is not a direct contestant to already existing mobile banking services such as Ecocash, Telecash, One Wallet and NettCash but rather a complementary product targeting Barclays Bank clients. “The Hello Money product is complementary to other mobile money transfers and is currently targeted at account holders. Barclays Bank aims for continuous improvement and greater customer convenience”, she stressed.
I am sure we all agree that regardless of differences in banking systems, the interest is to hug new and emerging technologies in order to meet our economic blueprint, ZIMASSET.