Mobile network providers in Zimbabwe, including Econet Wireless, NetOne, and Telecel, have updated their Zimbabwe dollar (ZWL) rates for calls, SMS, and data.
It means Zimbabweans might pay more to access these services.
Currently, the telco industry is struggling to balance out rising costs and maintain operations and profitability in the face of Zimbabwe's economic challenges like inflation and currency depreciation.
Here's what I've got for you today:
- KCB, Visa, and Thales partner to bring contactless payments to Kenya
- Cell C completes network migration
KCB, Visa, and Thales partner to bring contactless payments to Kenya
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Visa, and Thales have collaborated to launch a new in-store payment service.
Customers who have near-field communication (NFC) enabled on their Android smartphones or Garmin wearables can make contactless payments through the KCB app.
Garmin is an American technology company that specialises in GPS technology for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and sport activities.
This is the first time a product of this type will be available in Kenya. Alternative contactless payment options, such as those provided by Absa and Standard Chartered, rely on cards rather than mobile devices.
Compared to debit cards, contactless payments are convenient, simple, and quick because you do not need to enter a PIN code for your routine and small transactions.
Users must digitise their KCB Visa card through the banking app for a one-time setup to use the service.
To make purchases, open the KCB app, choose NFC payments, tap your phone on a contactless payment terminal, and enter your PIN to complete the transaction after the card details have been saved on your mobile device.
Only large transactions or less frequently visited stores will require the PIN.
The only drawback is the requirement that a customer's smartphone has an NFC chip for the service to function. NFC is a feature that many modern phones have, but some manufacturers forgo the chip to save money.
Safaricom unveiled a comparable product — One-Tap — using M-PESA and NFC in 2017.
It offered an NFC tag that could be attached to smartphones for M-PESA payments at retail establishments, but the telco discontinued it due to low demand for its products.
Cell C completes network migration
South African mobile network operator, Cell C, has announced the completion of its network migration.
Network migration involves moving programmes and data from an old network to a new network. It may entail switching to a completely new one or extending an existing one with an add-on system.
The migration, which entails shutting down all of its tower infrastructure and giving MTN control over the building and management of its cellular network, allows the company to access more towers in the country.
The company has increased its tower count from 5,500 to 14,000, with over 12,000 sites now supporting 4G/LTE.
MTN will give Cell C access to a "virtual radio access network" for its prepaid and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) subscribers, including Standard Bank Mobile, Shoprite K'nect, Capitec Connect, and FNB Connect.
Cell C contract customers already roam on Vodacom.
What does this mean for subscribers? The company said customers would enjoy several benefits, including increased nationwide coverage, better connections, and a more reliable network during load shedding.
Cell C explained that this is due to their partner network's investment in backup power.
The company also said, “We are the first mobile operator to think about our network strategy differently, and instead of trying to build out an expensive and unsustainable network, we chose to become a buyer of network services.”
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- Ethena Labs is hiring remote for Quantitative Software Engineer and Senior Web3 Engineer (Full-Stack). Apply here.
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Have a stress-free Thursday!
Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.