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Safaricom’s M-Pesa outage and Zain’s Zap game changer?

Over the last week or so, many of Safaricom’s M-Pesa subscribers we’re affected by service failures that meant that they could nether send or receive payments. For many M-Pesa users, its not just a money transfer service, its a lifeline that they need just to function financially. Many un-banked M-Pesa users use the service as a form of a bank account and any failure in its reliability seriously compromises them. So, the jury is out as to whether M-Pesa has finally reached a breaking point after its exponential growth over the last few years.

Another interesting development on the mobile money transfer market in Kenya that recently came to my attention is that Zain’s Zap users can send money to other mobile networks. Now, at first, I thought that this surely can’t be possible. But, basically, a Zain Zap user can send you money on your Non-Zain mobile number and then you present the details of the transfer to a Zain Zap Agent. Its as simple as that! Could Zap be a game changer in Kenya’s mobile money transfers business? This remains to be seen!

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4 Comments

  1. Justin
    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 pm — Reply

    You can do the same with Safaricom’s mpesa. Just ask around. Personally, I dislike Zain’s service due to lack of enough agents in the rural areas. The menu is also not intuitive. But on reliability they are better than Safaricom. I haven’t heard of service outage since they launched. That cannot be said of Safaricom.

  2. August 14, 2009 at 8:08 am — Reply

    Wow, I didn’t know that Zap can do that!
    This is good to know. I, too, am a Zap member but I havent used it yet.
    More competition is BETTER for EVERYONE.

    – MaxTheITpro

  3. September 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm — Reply

    I think the only reason why Zap hasn’t had any outages is because of the much lower traffic levels.

  4. JOEL NDEBE
    January 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm — Reply

    What about sending money from the US? Any agents? How do you become one?

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