[concord times] The leading mobile telecommunication company in the country, Zain has announced the expansion of 'Zap', its award-winning mobile commerce service in Sierra Leone, Niger, and in the boundaries of a full commercial pilot in Malawi.
The launching of the service in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in February 2009 has become successful as more than 10 million people have already used the service.
Zap is the most comprehensive and accessible mobile commerce service in Africa, now serving over 150 million people in six countries on the continent, allowing them, in many cases for the first time, access to advanced financial services through their mobile phones.
With this expansion, Zain is now the biggest mobile commerce operator in the world in terms of geographic coverage, enabled customers and service functionalities, said a statement from the company.
This innovative mobile commerce service was introduced in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in partnership with leading international banks, which allows Zain customers in Zap-enabled countries to use their mobile phone to withdraw cash or pay for goods and services, school fees and utility bills, including electricity and water.
Also, it enables customers to receive money from or send money to friends and family, send and receive money to their bank accounts, top-up their or someone else's airtime, manage their bank accounts.
Zap is also part of Zain's pioneering 'One Network' platform, meaning that customers can benefit from all of the Zap features when traveling to an associate Zain 'One Network' country.
The platform allows travelling customers to move across geographic borders without roaming surcharges, make calls/SMS at local rates, receive incoming calls for free as well as recharge their mobile phones with locally purchased top up cards.
"The expansion of this revolutionary mobile commerce service to Malawi, Niger and Sierra Leone is an extremely important step in pushing the boundaries of mobile communications," said Dr. Saad Al Barrak, Zain Group CEO.
"We already saw the impact Zap has made in the economies of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda," added Dr. Al Barrak.
"We are confident that we will see a similar impact in Malawi, Niger and Sierra Leone, where formal banking services are largely restricted to urban hubs."
Zain Expands Mobile Commerce in Africa