AMA.ZING part of the Zing Group, has announced its decision to withdraw from Zimbabwe, citing unsustainable operating conditions.
In September, ITWeb reported the Zing Group had launched a solution that allows millions of disenfranchised Zimbabweans living in SA, both banked and unbanked, to access free mobile transacting and basic insurance services through AMA.ZING Diaspora.
Developed by the Zing Group, it enabled people living in SA to buy products and pay bills in Zimbabwe using AMA.ZING digital coins paid for in South African rands.
The solution came in the form of the AMA.ZING mobile app, which users could download free of charge. They then purchased US$-linked AMA.ZING coins, either by cash or bankaccount, and redeemed these coins against purchases or bills that needed to be paid in Zimbabwe. All users qualified to receive free life cover rewards as well as CashBack rewards.
“It’s with great regret that this decision was made. But, despite every effort and a genuine desire to make a difference in Zimbabwe, our continued investment within the country is no longer viable,” says Warren Venter, Zing Group chief customer officer.
Zimbabwe is facing critical cash shortages and it was hoped AMA.ZING would be able to plug that gap with its digital solution.
The fintech company entered Zimbabwe three years ago, with a view to challenging the status quo in financial inclusion.
Earlier this year, it launched its AMA.ZING Diaspora solution as an alternative to existing money remittance solutions between SA and Zimbabwe.
The company says though the Diaspora solution and the AMA.ZING offering in Zimbabwe was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from the Zimbabwean public, current market conditions in Zimbabwe have left the group no choice but to withdraw.
It adds that any clients who have already spent money with AMA.ZING in anticipation of future benefits will be refunded accordingly.
“Should the current set of circumstances change, we would welcome the opportunity to return to Zimbabwe and once again take up the battle against financial exclusion within the country,” says Venter.
The company still has a mobile money licence in Malawi.