via Mobile money transfers decline | The Herald September 8, 2015
Mobile money transfers declined by 7,7 percent to $406 million in the first quarter this year compared to the last quarter of 2014, latest statistics from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) show. Since the adoption of multiple foreign currencies in 2009, Zimbabwe has witnessed a proliferation of mobile banking facilities modelled on the one used in Kenya called M-PESA.
A growth in mobile phone usage in the country has also seen other independent service providers joining the sector, offering a wide variety of services.
Mobile money transfer platforms such as EcoCash, TeleCash, One Wallet and NettCash are now household names. In an industry review report for the first quarter, Potraz said the number of mobile money subscribers increased by 7,3 percent to reach 5,8 million from 5,3 million subscribers recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“The number of agents also increased from 23 379 to 25 427 agents. However, the total value of money transferred in the quarter declined by 7,7 percent to $406 988 613 from $445 722 792 transferred in the last quarter,” Potraz said.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has said at least $61 billion has been moved via mobile money transfers between 2009 and 2014 through 299 million transactions. Mobile money platforms allow users to make cash transfers or payments to service providers using cellphones without need for intermediary institutions such as banks.
The introduction of mobile banking services in Zimbabwe has ushered in a new era in the delivery of banking products to the public. Mobile banking refers to any system that enables regular banking services through a mobile phone, even if one does not have a bank account. Its advent has greatly assisted in reaching out to the previously unbanked population. — New Ziana.