Recently CABS launched their send money service called Send-t0-cell. The service allows CABS account holders to send money to anyone even none-account holders as long as the receipt has a cell number. If the person receiving the money has a CABS account the amount is added to their balance if they don’t they receive a normal SMS informing them that they have received money:

Dear customer,

Taurai Moyo has sent you ZWL 500

To access your funds please dial *227# and select CABS Products

An example of a message seen on the receiver phone

The recipient has to create a Textcash account in order to access these funds. They can do this using their phone but unless you want to use the money to buy electricity or pay some bill you are going to find that spending that money is not easy without you getting an actual bank card. And oh did we mention that the sender is charged 3% on top of the usual 2% that the government charges. That’s much much steeper compared to what Ecocash and OneMoney charge. Which begs the question, why the heck would you want to use this?

Blame cash shortages

Long before Ecocash became a thing, South Africans with a bank account could easily send money to other’s even if the recipients doesn’t have a bank account. All the recipient needs is a cellphone. The person receiving the money gets an SMS on their phone with a code.

They can then take their cellphone to an ATM and follow the instructions in that SMS machine, enter the unique code given in the message and voila, they the ATM spits out the amount of money shown in the message. Thanks to this innovation and other innovations such as ATM deposits introduced by banks over the years, mobile money has had a hard time cracking that market.

Now the South African service is useful because non-bankers can easily get the money sent to them. With CABS the service is basically forcing you to get a CABS bank account! You are better off using the ZIPIT service than wasting your time with this. ZIPIT is cheaper anyway.