Mobile money subscriptions up 15%

By Staff reporter | 30 Mar 2020 at 19:23hrs
The number of active mobile money subscriptions continued on a growth trajectory, registering a 15 percent growth in 2019, according to regulator, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

This comes as the market continues to embrace plastic money usage as cash shortages persist.

The cash crisis started in 2016, prompting the market to shift towards plastic money as opposed to cash transactions. According to Potraz's annual sector performance report, total number of active mobile money subscriptions for the year under review was 7 334 639 representing a growth of 15,5 percent on prior year's 6 352 552.

The report also shows that OneMoney recorded the biggest growth in active subscriptions during the year under review and as a result, their market share, also grew by 2,6 percent to reach 6,4 percent over the course of 2019.

Telecash lost 0,1 percent market share in line with its decline in subscriptions. EcoCash's market share also declined by 3,5 percent but remaining the sector's giant commanding a market share of 95,4 percent.

"Mobile money has become an important channel for effecting Person to Business (P2B) transactions as shown by the growth in the value of airtime, bill and merchant mobile money transactions over the course of the year," said Potraz.

In line with its dominance, EcoCash subsequently processed the highest value of transactions, at 99,3 percent. OneMoney processed 0,6 percent whereas Telecash processed 0, 1 percent of the total value of transactions.

Figures from Potraz show that cash in transactions amounted to $14 billion against $5 billion in cash out transactions reflective of the obtaining situation on the market.

Mobile money is expected to continue growing as more subscribers turn to it as a convenient method of transacting. With no cash solutions in sight in the near future, the market has no option but to increase adoption of the platform, which has also been critical in enhancing financial inclusion in the country.

"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," said Potraz.

The mobile money transfer facility has been abused by some individuals who have taken the opportunity to sell cash at huge premiums, a situation that probably explains the huge cash in figure of $14 billion against cash figure of $5 billion during the period under review.

Although the majority of Zimbabweans have embraced plastic money, some sectors of the economy reject it insisting on cash transactions only. The situation is worsened by the fact that there are sections of the society that are yet to have access to key infrastructure that facilitate mobile money transfers.



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