Zimbabwe: Electronic payments to reach $50 bn by year-end

Money Transfer

The central bank says electronic payments are expected to reach $50 billion by the end of the year as the country’s mobile money sector continues to grow in both volumes and value.

All of the three mobile network operators in Zimbabwe – Econet, Telecel and NetOne – have mobile money platforms which the RBZ said transacted a total of $6,1 billion between 2009 to 2014.

Bank supervision director Norman Mataruka on Monday told a conference on mobile money and digital payments that the mobile money sector had transformed the financial services sector.

“Mobile phone technology has drastically changed the financial landscape in Zimbabwe. The mobile phone has become a critical service delivery tool and innovative access channel for the banking system,” he said.

“Total annual electronic payments are estimated at $50 billion this year compared to total bank deposits which are currently just above $5 billion.”

Mataruka said mobile money transactions have also helped in migrating cash flows from the informal to the formal sector of the economy.

The central bank estimates that up to $3 billion is circulating in the informal sector while the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) puts the figure at $7,4 billion.

Mataruka said there was need to ensure adequate laws and regulations were put in place to protect consumers of digital financial services.

“Mobile money payment systems must function within a well-defined and regulated framework that provides for a safe and sound environment.”
Source: New Zimbabwe 29 July 2015