Hot on the heels of the Telecash launch and an alleged subsequent fight over agents with Econet, a new Mobile Money agents association called Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe (MMTAAZ) has emerged, fronted by two founding Directors Francis Chinjekure and Thomas Muserepwa.
We spoke to MMTAAZ’s Francis Chinjakure who told us that the association was formed around January 15 2014 and to date they have signed up just over 100 member (less than 1% of Ecocash’s 9000 agents). Membership is $2 each month and Francis claims that over 75% of agents they have made contact with have expressed interest in joining the association.
The terms of association are interesting as it seems the mobile money agents are unsatisfied with the agent commission available to them. They are also demanding better welfare of agents which Francis clarified as “welfare whilst on Job as brand ambassadors”.
It seems the agents are mistakenly viewing themselves as part of a mobile money operator’s wage bill and they seem to forget that mobile money agents deal with an operator as business entities responsible for their own operational expenses.
It’s interesting that the association is seeking publicity after the Telecash launch when Mobile Money as an “industry” has been in existence for the past two years. This may indicate that there is more to the fight over agents and the agents themselves may have spotted a bargaining chip to further their own ends.
The idea of forming an agent association is however a good move as a way to push for better terms of agreement with mobile money operators, but pushing for any form of welfare is kinda pushing it. Here’s the full press release from MMTAAZ:
Very well since EcoCash was launched in Zimbabwe, the successes of their product is highly pinned on their brand ambassadors later on known today just as agents. Telecel has also just launched Telecash in the past few weeks an almost similar product and they are looking forward to have the same network or system in place to promote their business. However, on our side as agents we have decided to come together and discuss with these giant service providers that its high time they realise that much of their success story is a picture we paint for them as their brand ambassadors and we would want to speak with one voice towards that hence the formation of MOBILE MONEY TRANSFER AGENTS ASSOCIATION OF ZIMBABWE (MMTAAZ) of which as of today boasts of a membership of more than hundred agents in Harare only and looking forward to expand their service into all parts of Zimbabwe before midyear so that every agents voice will be heard and action is also taken upon. The same holds for Netone for they have also relaunched their OneWallet innovation.
The principal message here is intended to other agents with their issues not raised in this issue is for you to contact us on the details provided below and make sure you spread the message to other agents so that we can speak with one voice. Other parties that also want to take party in the revolution are welcome to place their opinion on the provided communication details.
MOBILE MONEY TRANSFER AGENTS ASSOCIATION OF ZIMBABWE (MMTAAZ) seeks to cover some of the issues provided below. Agents and Sub-Agents are especially bade to join hands together in order to collectively articulate and address the challenges they face as they conduct their business on behalf of mobile companies.
a. Bringing together all Agents dealing with mobile phone money transfer for purposes of networking to articulate their concerns about challenges they face in carrying out their businesses;
b. Lobbying for policy formulations by the industry players geared towards the realization of equitable returns by the Agents;
c. Ensuring that there is a conducive atmosphere created by the mobile money companies for the operation of money transfer services;
d. Ensuring that the voices of Agents are heard when mobile money companies make decisions that impact negatively on the operations of the Agents;
e. Ensuring that a high degree of integrity is observed by all the Agents in the money transfer business and that a code of conduct pertaining to this kind of business is strictly adhered to;
f. Enhancing learning, sharing and dissemination of information amongst all Agents so that current trends in the business are followed
g. Promoting and maintaining best practices amongst all Agents’ operations;
h. Negotiating for better terms and conditions of service delivery including commissions which are fair and just considering the magnitude of the transactions handled on behalf of the companies involved. Agents and Sub-Agents are especially bade to join hands together in order to collectively articulate and address the challenges they face as they conduct their business on behalf of mobile companies. Major Areas of Concern
- Agent’s commission
- Agent’s operating conditions
- Support of agents by the operator
- Agent promotional activities
- Welfare of the agents
Contact detail Email: email@example.com Phone/Whatsapp:0773755273/0773255942