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Money transfers by mobile phone make life easier for rural African women

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Summary of story from allafrica.com, November 14, 2011

Rural women in Zimbabwe are at the centre of efforts by mobile phone service providers to introduce mobile phone money transfers in the country. That way,  people without bank accounts can send and receive cash via their phones.

People like Thelma Nare, who lives about 60 miles from the nearest town with a bank. Up until now, collecting the monthly subscriptions for her co-operative has been a nightmare.

The system is pretty straightforward. A user registers for mobile phone banking with their service provider and is given a mobile “e-wallet” – an application on their sim card that is linked to their phone number.

When the user wants to pay for services or transfer money to someone they simply have to go to an agent and pay the desired amount, which is loaded onto the “e-wallet”.

The payment is made and the recipient can withdraw the money from an agent. There are various agents affiliated with the mobile service providers across the country, making the service easily accessible to those in rural areas.

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