M-commerce boom in Zimbabwe


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TechCentral wraps up the major technology news from around the African continent. Compiled by Craig Wilson.

Added by Craig Wilson on 22 July 2013.
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Online and mobile transactions have for the first time surpassed card payments in Zimbabwe after recording 28,3% growth in the month of May.

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s May 2013 monthly economic review, the value of mobile and Internet-based transactions rose from US$283,6m in April to $364m in May, while the total value of card-based transactions rose by 1,3% from $328,2m to $332,6m.

The most popular mobile banking product on the market is Econet Wireless’s EcoCash, which is integrated with the country’s big banks. Other players include Net One’s mobile money transfer service, One Wallet, and FBC Holdings’ mobile banking product, Mobile Moola. Source: Zimbabwe Independent

Tanzanian Sim-card tax
Tanzania has imposed a tax of Sh1 000/month (about R6) on all Sim cards, despite objections from mobile operators and concerns that the move will affect the nation’s poorest mobile phone users.

The decision to impose the tax was passed by Tanzania’s parliament through the Finance Act of 2013.

Minister of finance and economic affairs William Mgimwa says he’s surprised by the ongoing debate surrounding the new tax after a decision to implement it was taken on the back of consultation with taxation experts. He says the money raised will be used to improve infrastructure in rural areas, particularly roads, electricity and water.

Various stakeholders are questioning how the tax found its way into the national budget. Tanzania’s Mobile Operators Association says it was not consulted about the tax before it was put in place.

“The government is transparent and if the excise tax is too much of a burden to the public, we will discuss and look at it afresh,” Mgimwa says. Source: Daily News

Kenya central bank website hacked
The Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK’s) website on Sunday night was attacked by hackers claiming to be from Gaza. Service was fully restored late on Sunday after earlier in the day displaying messages in English and French calling for the removal of soldiers from Mali. It’s unclear who exactly the messages were intended for.

The CBK is responsible for formulating monetary policy, promoting price stability and issuing currency.

Last year, an Indonesian hacker took down 103 government websites in an overnight attack, raising concerns over the security of the country’s information systems. Source: Standard Digital

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