Zimbabwe imposes mobile money tax

via Zimbabwe imposes mobile money tax  JANUARY 7, 2014 By Tawanda Karombo NehandaRadio

Zimbabwe has started levying a tax on mobile money transactions after intense lobbying from the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) for the Zimbabwean central bank to regulate mobile money services “to create a level playing field” in the financial services sector.

The banks had been involved in a bitter dispute with Econet Wireless, the country’s biggest telecoms firm, over its alleged refusal to open up its EcoCash mobile money platform for integration with the banking system in Zimbabwe.

The government has subsequently moved in to regulate mobile money transactions, effectively imposing a 5 cents tax levy on transactions carried out using mobile money platforms.

Econet’s EcoCash, with 3 million subscribers, is the biggest mobile money platform in Zimbabwe.

“We advise that a transaction tax of 5 cents will be levied on applicable transactions… in line with government tax policy,” Econet Wireless said in a statement sent to EcoCash users last week.

Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said in his 2014 budget presentation on December 19 that “the emergence of mobile technology has opened doors to innovative technology which facilitates transfer of funds through mobile phones”.

He however argued for the regulation of mobile money platforms and services, saying transactions done through such platforms had to conform to the same tax regime applicable for Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) transactions.

“Notwithstanding the positive impact of mobile banking services on the welfare of the then financially excluded members of our society, this product should, however, conform to the tax principle of fairness, hence, the current tax on similar products such as ATM and PoS should apply,” Chinamasa said.

Experts in Zimbabwe said the government was hoping to capitalise on the prominence of mobile money transactions by imposing the 5 cents per transaction tax rate.

Mobile money platforms in Zimbabwe are used for cash transfers, airtime top-ups, utility bill payments and other transactions. It was not immediately clear however, whether airtime top-up transactions will attract the 5 cents levy. ITwebafrica.com

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 13
  • comment-avatar

    Why should anyone have to pay a tax to move their money, whether via mobile, ATM or POS? No wonder this country is going to the dogs! The government is a vampire trying to suck all the blood out of the population. Government should be charging a consumption tax, such as a VAT tax, or a sales tax on all transactions for goods or services, but there is no logical reason why someone should have to pay a tax in order to pay a bill.

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      Chamunorwa 7 years ago

      That’s true in the sanse that the mobile cash idea was as a result so the failure by government to equitably distribute wealth resulting in less development particularly in the remote areas where there are no banks but IT has reached. The idea of ecocash was a way of reaching the marginalised in the rural areas so that they can be involved in the mainstream economy resulting in increased money circulation. Government does not loose anything through these transfers but because they want money at all cost, we find ourselves being robbed yet the corruption in government is not being accounted. Remember finance minister’s budget last year in December where they wanted to take mony from the diaspora yet they don’t want them to vote when it comes to election, God forbid.

    • comment-avatar

      Quite right, DL.

  • comment-avatar

    Another zanupf scam. Someone gets a pathetic 20 nssa monthly pension and the bank deducts 15 as bank charges.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shame on you china-masa

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    munzwa 7 years ago

    cut down the number of banks and then these punitive charges can fall away…

  • comment-avatar
    Joboringo 7 years ago

    Thats zanu gvt’s habbit on sucking ex-politician’s busines only wants to see them collapsing

  • comment-avatar
    Jrr56 7 years ago

    Amazing is all I can say. No wonder it is a cash society and shop owners don’t have bank accounts.

  • comment-avatar
    Chamunorwa 7 years ago

    The desperate measure being taken by government are like building a house starting from the roof. Kikikikikikikiki. Kukama mhuru zvese namai vayo nokuti mvura yaramba kunaya, pedzvezvo kwava kunogayisa mbewu nekukara kuti ubike sadza rekusevesa mhuru. That’s china-masa budget for you, no wonder why the IMF refused to give us money?

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    Don Cox 7 years ago

    This seems to be a punitive tax on the poor.

  • comment-avatar
    Dollar Power 7 years ago

    US Dollar can neither be created nor destroyed but can only flow from one person to another in exchange of services.This can only be achieved by good policies , good policies and good policies. Zvinotokama imbwa here vakomana kana madzamba anwa kare? Comrade finance minister gore rino muchatiza basa mega kkkkkkk pwipwipwipwiiiiiiii. Wamwe mumakambani takatiza mazuva ezim dollar imi muchatiza mazuva ano e US dollar.

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    aya ndoomatuzvi. Chinamasa idhoti. Kutora tax pana mbuya vangu vanoita 96years mwedzi unouya. A bunch of idiots.

  • comment-avatar

    Same old story. Caesar enjoys reaping where he did not sow.

    The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe wants a “level playing field” at the expense of the wage earner who is trying to run away from being ripped off by the diabolically greedy banking system.

    Well; nice try but still you will never see me patronizing your unscrupulous banks.

  • comment-avatar

    One more example of a non-productive government preying off the productive sector – what’s left of it . .