The end of Zampost’s mobile money service?


By Michael Malakata.

Stiff competition from MTN Zambia and Airtel in the provision of mobile money services in Zambia has been given as the reason for the possible closure of state-run Zampost’s online mobile money transfer service.

However, an opposition party has rubbished the claim saying the real reason is because of mismanagement.

Reports have emerged that the company’s online mobile money transfer service has been suffering heavy losses as a result of competition from MTN, Airtel and other online mobile money transfer companies including Zoona.
The reports indicate that very few people have been sending money through the Zampost mobile money service.
Last week, postmaster general McPherson Chanda told workers that their allowances would be cut and that his salary would be suspended to save the company from collapsing.

Zampost is a government run company that provides online mobile money services among other services across the Southern African country.
But the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has issued a statement claiming that Zampost faces service failure because of mismanagement and not because of competition from other service providers.
UPND chairperson for Labour Percy Chanda said there is no way the company can be facing challenges at a time when technology and communication has advanced.

Chanda said the UPND foresees this situation to continue as long as there is no transparency and appointments at the top management of such institutions are made on the basis of political patronage and nepotism rather than skill and merit.
“UPND strongly support the principle of employment on the basis of merit because such an approach is not only fair but also leads to the better management of entities like Zampost in avoiding future job losses and salary freezes,” Chanda said.
MTN and Airtel are fiercely marketing their mobile money services and both operators claim that they have steadily been growing their mobile money subscriber bases.

There are currently no figures from the two companies to show how many mobile money customers they have at present.
Last year however, Airtel said its mobile money customers base had hit 3.1 million with over 450, 000 transactions every month, with MTN claiming it had over 2 million mobile money customers.
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