Mobile money transactions maintain growth trajectory

Mobile money transactions maintained a growth trajectory in the third quarter of 2019, as the market continues to embrace plastic money in the face of persisting cash shortages in the country.

According to Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) sector performance report for the third quarter of 2019, there was a significant growth of 20 percent in mobile money transactions during the quarter under review.

The report shows that overall mobile money transactions grew to $575 million compared to $477 million recorded in the previous 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,” said POTRAZ.

The value of cash in transactions grew by 106 percent, while cash out transactions grew by 46,9 percent.

EcoCash maintained its market dominance as it processed 99,7 percent of the total value of transactions, a marginal growth of 0,1 percent.

OneMoney remained flat at 0,3 percent of the total transactions processed during the quarter, while Telecash lost market share by a marginal 0,1 percent to process an insignificant 0,03 percent of the total value of transactions handled during the quarter.

According to POTRAZ, there was also growth in active mobile money subscriptions across all operators.

Overall, total subscriptions closed the period at 7 190 153, which represented a 2,2 percent growth on previous quarter.

The report shows that OneMoney recorded the highest growth in active mobile money subscriptions registering a 27,8 percent growth to 428 529 compared to 335 132 subscribers in the previous quarter.

Telecash registered the least growth with a marginal 0,4 percent increase to 54 399 subscribers, which is 0,8 percent of total market share. Ecocash maintained its big brother position with a 1 percent growth to 6,707 million subscribers, representing 93,3 percent of total market share.

“The adoption of mobile money has been continuously improving as mobile money provides a convenient alternative to making payments given the current cash shortages,” said POTRAZ.

Zimbabwe is now ranked the second in terms of adoption of plastic money worldwide, a development that is driven by the obtaining cash shortages as well as initiatives to drive financial inclusion in the country, with mobile money playing a crucial role.

The telcoms regulator anticipates mobile money to continue on a growth path as it enhances financial inclusion in the country as well as creating convenience in the face of obtaining cash shortages.

Said 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.”