Zambia gov’t looks to strengthen bond between Fintechs and MNOs
Airtel Networks Zambia, MTN Zambia and Zamtel will begin to phase out airtime scratch cards.
Zambia’s government looks to strengthen the bond between Fintech firms and MNOs, and has focused on the phasing out of manual/ scratch card airtime purchase in favour of automated digital transactions.
The Ministry of Science and Technology and the Global System for Mobile Association of Zambia (GSMAZ) have engaged with Airtel Networks Zambia, MTN Zambia and Zamtel to follow this process.
Authorities want to enhance the supply of airtime machines to vendors and on bulk-buying of airtime for machines.
Minister of Science and Technology Felix Mutati said the Ministry wants to promote the digital economy and also address related environmental concerns.
Mutati said, “Digitised distribution channels reduce the costs incurred by mobile phone operators to produce and distribute scratch cards throughout the country. Digital recharge platforms also contribute to reduction of fraud and make it easier for the Zambia Revenue Authority to collect taxes as it becomes easier to determine the actual airtime sold by MNOs.”
A secondary benefit is the contribution to environmental protection as scratch card litter is removed.
GSMAZ chairperson and MTN Zambia CEO Bart Hofker added: “The use of electronic methods is a direct top-up which is quick, safe and easy since the agent sends the top-up value directly to the phone and the customers will not have to type the twelve digit numbers anymore.”