You’ve probably heard that in some countries mobile airtime is as good as cash. In Zimbabwe it could be even better, with one company allowing retailers to give shoppers airtime instead of change.
The problem is that Zimbabwean dollar was abandoned in 2009, forcing people to use other currencies to pay for goods in the country, with US dollar leading the way. However, when purchases don’t add up to a whole-dollar amount, shoppers are forced either to buy an extra item to make the total round up or accept a credit note.
This pretty complex situation prompted local startup Yo Time to develop custom solution that works like an Internet platform, which is available to every mobile phone users. Under the scheme, participating retailers can issue change in the form of PIN-less airtime credited directly to the shopper’s mobile phone number. The service is capable to handle credits of any value between 10 cents and US$50…
Pretty awesome solution when you think about it.