The entire African continent is experiencing some very important trends through the use of smartphones.
According to data that has recently been released by TechCentral, both online and mobile commerce transactions have surpassed payments over credit cards in Zimbabwe.
These digital purchases and funds transfers saw a growth of 28.3 percent during May 2013.
This data was recorded by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and was issued during the monthly economic review for that month. It indicated that while in April, the transactions made over the internet were worth approximately $283.6 million, they grew to about $364 million in May. At that time the growth in transactions via credit card rose only 1.3 percent, from April’s $328.2 million to May’s $332.6 million.
There were a number of major players that contributed to the rise of online and mobile commerce and payments.
Primarily, the mobile commerce banking product contributor was EcoCash from Econet Wireless, which is worked into the large banks of the country. However, there were other players that also made their mark, including OneWallet, the smartphone money transfer service from Net One, as well as Mobile Moola, from FBC Holdings.
Technology Quotes That Invite Thought -
In Tanzania mobile commerce experienced a notable hit when the country imposed a SIM card tax – through the Finance Act of 2013 – that must be paid every month by smartphone users. This will have the greatest impact on the poorest users in the country. The funds from the tax are meant to help to improve rural infrastructure, especially water, electricity, and roads. However, a number of stakeholders are suspicious of the way that this tax made its way into the national budget, particularly in the case of the Mobile Operators Association in Tanzania, which said that it had not been consulted before this tax was implemented.
Mobile commerce in Kenya also took a hit, as security concerns have risen following a hack that just occurred to the Central Bank of Kenya’s website. The hackers claim that they were from Gaza, though that has yet to be officially confirmed. The service on the site was taken down when it started displaying English and French messages that demanded the removal of soldiers in Mali. Service was restored several hours afterward, but it is not yet known what impact that this will have on the comfort that people feel using the site.