Zimbabwe’s first mobile-payment system launches next month.

Local firm Mikemusa Pvt. Ltd. is establishing the service, which will work over existing mobile telecommunication networks using Near Sound Data Transfer technology. The technology uses the audio channel of a mobile phone to transmit encrypted transaction data, and it works with any mobile or telco operator, a spokesperson for the company tells PaymentsSource.

The service is most beneficial to Zimbabweans living abroad who want to send funds home to their family or friends, the spokesperson says. “They can access our website and create a prepaid mobile wallet account to which they can load money via bank transfer or deposit,” he says

To transfer funds using the website, senders enter the recipient’s name and phone number, the transfer amount, and a secret passcode the recipient would use to access the funds at a participating bank-run or retail location. After first providing an identification card, the recipient plugs his mobile phone in to a special terminal, after which he instantly receives a text message to verify the transaction. He may then use his passcode to withdraw all or a portion of the funds sent.

The company is partnering with NMB Bank Ltd. in Zimbabwe to process the remitted funds, the spokesperson says.

The sender will pay remittance charges for the service, though the spokesperson declined to disclose specific pricing information.

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