Mobile transactions down 4pc

HARARE - Zimbabwe recorded a 4,7 percent decline in mobile and Internet-based transaction to $490 million in June 2015 from $514,5 million in May due to tight liquidity crisis, latest figures from the central bank indicate.

In its monthly economic review for June, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said the total value of card based transactions also decreased from $455,4 million in May to $419,7 million in June 2015.

This comes in the wake of an 18,2 percent increase in mobile banking agents to 30 274 in the six months to June.

Total mobile financial activities recorded between 2009-14 are valued at $6,1 billion, amid indications that mobile money is overtaking formal banking channels.

Meanwhile, transactions processes through the RTGS system increased 17 percent to $4,04 billion from $3,5 billion in May, as  transactions registered an increase of 9,3 percent to 196 410 from 179 761.

Total value of card-based transactions slumped to $419,7 million in June 2015 from $455.4 million, while cheque transactions value declined to $11,9 million from $13,1 million in May 2015, in June 2015.

According to RBZ governor John Mangudya, the proportion of the population accessing mobile money services has surged, in the past few years.

Total electronic money balance as at July 30 stood at $60 million, while bank deposits were estimated at  $5 billion

Mangudya recently said there had been an increase recorded in access to financial services, largely attributed to mobile financial service.

“Mobile Network Operators operations have also helped in migrating cash flows from the informal to the formal sector of the economy,” he said, at a recently held mobile money conference.

The apex bank leader also said the bank had adopted a model that allows non-bank mobile money providers, including mobile network operators (MNOs), into the mobile money market, as a way of ensuring competition prevailed in the sector.

According to the governor, the RBZ has also developed an oversight framework and mobile money guidelines which will be circulated to the market in the near future showing governing areas in the sector.

By end of December last year, mobile money transfer transactions had reached $1 billion — an 80 percent leap from the nearly $800 million in 2013, according to figures released by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

Mobile money subscriptions currently stand at $5,3 million, representing a 7,3 percent surge from the $4,9 million recorded in 2013.

Zimbabwe has three mobile phone networks — Econet, Telecel and Net*One — whose combined subscriber base is about 11,7  million.

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