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Zimbabwe Backtracks on Ban on Mobile Money Services

Zimbabwe continues to get in the news for all the wrong reasons. On 28 September the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe banned the quoting of prices in foreign currency. It then stopped operators of mobile-money services, the dominant way in which money is moved in the country, from paying out cash, and tightened the range which dealers and bureaux de change can exchange the Zimbabwe dollar to between 3% and 5% from the official rate, down from 7%  imposed in September. Ecocash, the mobile-money service operated by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, has 6.7 million active users in a nation of about 14 million people. It is the first time since its introduction in 2011 that its users have not been able to use the so-called cash-back service. However, Zimbabwe’s central bank then lifted its ban on mobile money to cash transactions after 3 days of public outcry and criticism while the government continues to struggle to contain the country’s economic crisis.

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Alastair Tempest

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