Mobile Money Subs Up 3, 4 percent

With the cash crisis bedevelling the country amidst recent reports headlined No cash withdrawals for individuals, it would be sensible to see the use of mobile money rise.

The latest Potraz report noted there was a 3,4 percent increase in active mobile money subscribers in the second quarter of 2017 attributable to the introduction mobile to bank to mobile transactions.

“The number of active mobile money subscriptions increased by 3.4% to reach 3,352,476 from 3,251,784 active subscriptions recorded in the previous quarter,” read part of the report.

Encouraged use of using alternative payment methods could have marginally leaped this subscriber base but could have been more had mobile money platforms offered better deals. Better meaning giving cash.

Most Zimbabwean banks and building societies with many customers such as CABS, People’s Own Savings Bank and CBZ integrated with their banking services to Ecocash, explaining why the mobile money platform holds the lion’s share. 

According to figures in the report, Ecocash is the undisputed market leader with 98 percent followed by Telecel with 1, 4 percent and NetOne with 0, 4 percent.

NetOne’s One Wallet rechristened to One Money registered a 30 percent leap of subscribers.

“All the mobile operators experienced an increase in active mobile money subscriptions with the highest increase registered on One Wallet (30.1%),” said Potraz.

Potraz noted airtime and merchant payments saw a huge leap of 70, 3 percent contribution in mobile money transactions

“Airtime and merchant payments using the platforms of the three mobile networks registered the highest increase of 70.3%. Mobile money has become a popular and convenient method of paying for goods and services amidst cash shortages. The introduction of bank to mobile wallet transfers has also contributed to the growth in mobile money transactions,” said the regulator.

The total number of active mobile money agents increased by 2.8%% to reach 24,575 from 23,898 active agents in the first quarter of 2017. An active mobile money agent is a registered agent that has facilitated at least one transaction in the past 90 days. The quarterly variation in mobile money agents per operator is shown in the table below:

Table 7: Mobile Money Agents
  1st Quarter 2017 2nd Quarter 2017   % Growth
ECONET 22,039 23,050 4.6%
TELECEL 1,614 1,338 -17.1%
NETONE 245 187 -23.7%
TOTAL 23,898 24,575 2.8%


Econet was the only operator to register an increase in active mobile money agents. The decline in active agents by Telecel and NetOne is generally attributed to liquidity constraints, as cash is required to facilitate cash-in and cash-out transactions. Mobile money agents are more concentrated in the urban areas. The distribution of agents by location is shown in table 8 below.

Table 8: Rural v. Urban mobile money agents
  1st Quarter 2017 2nd Quarter 2017 Net Additions % Growth
RURAL 7,555 7,851 296 3.9%
URBAN 16,343 16,724 381 2.3%
TOTAL 23,898 24,575 677 2.8%


As shown above, there was an increase of 3.9% in the number of agents serving the rural areas.

Tuckshops in the ghetto even vegetable stalls not forgetting street hustlers selling items are now opting for Ecocash.




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