ZIMBABWE: Mobile money transactions double in Q3

MOBILE money transactions grew 91% to $11 888 760 224 in the third quarter of the year owing to the increase in the cost of goods and services as well as users.

According to the newly-released Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) 2019 third-quarter report, the increase in the total mobile money transactions was from $6 223 561 138 recorded in the second quarter.

“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 users and use cases. 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,” reads part of the Potraz report.

“The adoption of mobile money has been continuously improving as mobile money provides a convenient alternative to making payments given the current cash shortages. The growth in active mobile money subscriptions is shown.”

Active mobile money subscriptions grew to 7 190 153 subscribers from the previous quarter’s 7 032 330. Of this amount, EcoCash had 6 707 225 (Cassava Smartech), One Money 428 529 (NetOne) and Telecash 54 399 (Telecel Zimbabwe).

In terms of growth, while the EcoCash active subscriber base was a 1% growth from the previous quarter, One Money’s was an increase of 27,8%.

Also adding to the growth of the total value of mobile money transactions was the increase in voice and data tariffs by the regulator of more than 50% at the start of the third quarter.

This saw a 99,2% increase in airtime, bill and merchant payments.

Cash in and out payments also saw increases of 106,1% to $5,03 billion and 46,9% to $1,9 billion, respectively, that helped grow overall mobile money transactions.

EcoCash processed 99,7% of the total value of transactions in the third quarter up from 99,6% recorded in the previous quarter while NetOne remained stagnant at 0,3%.

Telecel saw a huge drop in mobile money transactions to 0,03% in the period under review from the previous quarter’s 0,1%.

“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,” part of the Potraz report read.