Mobile Money

Zimbabwe’s Central Bank Shuts Down Eco-Cash’s Mobile Money Cash Options

In Zimbabwe, mobile money “cash-in” and “cash-out” options have reportedly been killed off by the government, because the authorities have concluded that the functions are being abused.

Zimbabwean mobile money agents, mainly with the EcoCash platform, are said to have been capitalizing on Zimbabwe’s cash shortages to buy cash for re-sale to mobile wallet holders at a premium of no less than 50%. This means that a user tried to access funds in their mobile wallet through agents; they would only get approximately 50% of their balance.

The cancelling of cash-in and cash-out options on the mobile money apps of the Zimbabwean operators has drawn much criticism for the government by citizens on social media as the country’s financial sector is already in disarray due to foreign currency shortages and deficiencies of cash from Zimbabwe’s banks.

Zimbabwe’s economy continues to struggle, and mobile money has been essential for the majority of daily transactions by Zimbabweans. Most of the country’s economy runs through electronic systems as well as mobile money, which is dominated by Econet’s Ecocash with a 95% market share. 

Most recently Ecocash has experienced struggles with trying to keep its mobile money system working round the clock as the country has been hit with severe electricity shortages which have forced it to explore options including Tesla Powerwall storage batteries.

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