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Zain launches Zap

13 Sep

Kenya’s second largest mobile telecommunications provider announced that it plans to bring mobile banking to over 100 million people in East Africa with the launch of its new service, Zap.

With the most comprehensive and accessible mobile banking features currently available on the continent, Zap will be initially available in Kenya and Tanzania and will shortly launch in Uganda. Zain’s Zap will provide millions of people with access to banking for the very first time.Zain is partnering with leading international and regional banks including Citigroup and Standard Chartered Bank to launch Zap, which will allow Zain customers in the three countries to use their mobile phone to:

* Pay bills and pay for goods and services
* Receive money and send money to friends and family
* Withdraw cash
* Top up their own airtime account or top up someone else’s
* Send airtime to Zain customers in East Africa
* Manage their bank accounts

The Zap service will also be included as part of the company’s pioneering One Network service, meaning that Zain customers will be able to send airtime to other Zain customers across Kenya , Tanzania and Uganda . One Network allows travelling customers to move across geographic borders without roaming surcharges, recharge their mobile phones with locally purchased top up cards and receive calls for free.

Zap will provide customers with increased security and flexibility, reducing the need to carry cash and ensuring payments between friends and family remain secure. A password is needed for each transaction and the service is protected through a state-of-the-art security application. Customers will also benefit from being able to access the service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through their handset menu and enjoy the convenience of having access to cash anytime, anywhere.

This is definitely set to affect the mobile internet landscape in Kenya in some ways. Most Kenyans will probably want to see better pricing for this service. Most Kenyans sentiment is that competitors pricing are fairly highly priced and if Zain could introduce similar quality services at a lower price range then we could definitely see a shift among consumers.


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