Mobile money volumes drop in Q1, 2020

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Harare,– The value of money transacted using mobile money platforms in the first quarter of 2020 declined to $7.205 billion from $7.798 billion in the previous quarter, reflecting continued cash shortages in the economy, the industry regulator said on Wednesday.

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said overall mobile money transactions had also dropped by 9.2 percent in the quarter.

“There was an overall decline in the value of cash-in and cash-out transactions. This is attributable to the cash shortages in the economy,” Potraz said.

The value of deposits, generally referred to as cash-in, was down 5.9 percent to $5.825 billion while withdrawals or cash-outs were down 14 percent to $1.380 billion.

Ecocash remained a near monopoly in the sector, accounting for 98.31 percent of mobile money transactions while One Money was a distant second at 1.66 percent and Telecel at 0.04 percent.

In terms of the value of transactions, Ecocash accounted for 95.92 percent, One Money at 4.04 percent and Telecash at 0.04 percent.

Potraz said the growth in One Money transactions from 1.1 percent in the previous quarter to about 4 percent was “attributable to the increase in subscriptions following the zero-rating of all mobile money transactions in December 2019.”

Use of mobile money in the country has been on an upward trend since 2018 on the back of shortages of physical cash in the banks.

In the quarter, overall mobile money subscribers grew by 4.6 percent to 7.763 million.

New Ziana