Zimbabwe: Mobile Money Transactions Jump

8 October 2019

The number of mobile money transactions jumped 21 percent in the quarter to June 30, 2019, to 477,4 million on the growth of users and uses.

According to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) sector performance report for the second quarter of 2019, the growth in mobile money transactions can also be attributed to the general increase in prices of goods and services.

The country has experienced a spate of price increases since beginning of the year as retailers chase after the runaway exchange rate.

"There was a significant growth in the volume and value of mobile money transactions in the quarter under review," reads part of the Potraz report.

"The growth in the value of transactions can be attributed to a number of factors such as the general increase in the cost of goods and services as well as the growth in the number of uses and users," said Potraz.

According to the report, EcoCash maintained its dominance in the sector as it processed 99,6 percent of the total value of transactions compared to 99,4 percent recorded in the previous quarter. OneMoney and Telecash each accounted for 0,3 percent and 0,1 percent of the total value of transactions.

Presenting the report in the capital recently, Potraz director general Dr Gift Machengete acknowledged the disparity between cash-in and cash-out transactions.

The report further shows that cash-in transactions grew 108 percent $2,44 billion from $1,17 billion in the previous quarter. On the other hand, cash-out transactions were $1,29 billion which was 63 percent above previous quarter.

"There has been an overall growth in volume of mobile money, on cash-in we can see the variance is at 108 percent and when we compare that with cash-out is only at 63 percent that tells a story.

"The value of what is going in is not commensurate with what's coming out and I think it's consistent with problems we are having with cash-out transactions," said Dr Machengete.

During the quarter under review, mobile money subscribers also grew 5,3 percent to 7 million from 6,6 million in the previous quarter.

NetOne's OneMoney subscribers paced the fastest after growing by 7,3 percent to 335 132 subscribers. Ecocash grew 5,2 percent to 6,6 million, commanding the largest share of the mobile money subscribers at 94,4 percent.

Telecash registered a marginal growth of 0,6 percent to 54 190 subscribers which is 0,8 percent of total subscribers.

In the absence of a clear cash solution, mobile money is expected to remain significant in the near future playing a key role in financial inclusion.

Added Potraz: "Mobile money services are expected to continue playing a key role of bridging the financial divide by providing safe, secure and cheap financial services in areas where many Zimbabweans have no access to formal banking systems.

"Volumes of mobile money payments are expected to maintain an upward trend due to the significant increase in the number of financial services offered on mobile money platforms."

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