Observers say the continued wrangling between Zimbabwe’s three mobile network operators Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne is likely to stifle the fast growing electronic payments sector.
Economists have raised serious concern over the reluctance of mobile phone operators to open up their platforms to rivals. Econet’s EcoCash subscribers, which is the biggest mobile money service on the local market, cannot transfer money to NetOne’s One Wallet and Telecel’s Telecash.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe supervision director, Norman Maturuka, told an Oxylink inaugural mobile money and digital payments conference in Harare on Monday that the mobile financial activities totaled $6,1 billion as at December 31, 2014, as the sector expanded to areas not reached by normal banking activities.
Economists say with more than 25,000 money agents, mobile banking has overtaken conventional banks with an estimated 500 ATMS only. Oxlink Capitals managing director, Brains Muchemwa, told VOA Studio 7 that e-commerce is making significant strides in Zimbabwe.