The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangundya says there are 8, 9 million mobile financial services subscribers in the country.
Of the 8, 9 million subscribers, about a third of them are active.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Presenting the 2017 Monetart Policy Statement, Dr John Mangundya said there are about nine million subscribed to mobile financial services.
“Mobile financial services have been extended to both under-banked and banked through various forms including agents thereby servicing the last mile. Currently there are over 8.9 million registered subscribers across the country while 3.3 million are substantively active,” he said.
He encouraged banks and mobile money service providers to educate the public more on the usage of the platfroms.
“Banks and mobile payment providers are urged to continuously provide effective education and awareness to encourage optimal usage of the services available. In the same vein, providers are urged to innovate and move towards less cash based models of payment,” said Mangundya.
According to tabulated figures on Payment Systems Access Points and Devices, as at December 2016 there were 40 590 mobile banking agents in the country and 569 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) while Point of Sale Access Points reached 32 540.
He called for increased efforts to make Zimbabwe get to an optimum level of a cash-lite society.
“Whilst the Bank is pleased by the strides made by the banks and payment systems providers in the payments digitalization journey, the Bank continues to call upon all stakeholders to double their efforts for the country to reach an optimum level of a cash-lite society,” said the RBZ boss.
He added that there is need to increase momentum and attention in the,”…Spread and usage of payment channels such as POS and Mobile Banking agents to all areas of the economy especially rural areas.”
Mangundya also said sensitization, education and awareness designed to help bridge the gap among key stakeholders highlighting opportunities and benefits offered by electronic payments is important.
He said the empowerment of stakeholders especially consumers to make informed decisions with regard to uptake and usage of electronic payments is essential.
“…Enhanced efficiencies of payment mechanisms and issues related to connectivity are key in this area,” said Mangundya.
He stressed the importance of collaborations to ensure mutual benefits among stakeholders.
“Collaboration among key stakeholders as the culture of not sharing infrastructure will not allow a win-win situation to optimize on opportunities
From here on end, the Central Bank shall also be strongly advocating for e-payroll developments to transform the salary and pension payment systems in order to reduce the cash culture in Zimbabwe.