Diaspora sends US$1bln to Zim, RBZ wants more

Anadolu Agency

RBZ boss John Mangudya

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has taken steps to attract more remittances from citizens living abroad.

Remittances to Zimbabweans were expected to top $1 billion this year, up from  $836 million in 2014, according to central bank reports.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Tuesday has issued a license to Telecel Zimbabwe for its subscribers to receive remittances from Zimbabweans living in foreign countries using smartphones and tablets.

This is the second mobile network provider to receive such a license. The first was issued in June 2014 to EcoCash.

Using a mobile money transfer service, subscribers in Zimbabwe can now directly receive money from friends and relatives living abroad through smartphones, tablets or computers instantly.

Recipients in Zimbabwe can then use their mobile wallets to pay bills, buy groceries, send money internally and even make withdrawals through registered agents.

“Zimbabwe has a huge diaspora community which looks after family and friends in the country,” commented Telecel’s Head of Mobile Financial Services Arthur Matsaudza.

Telecel will work with the Harare-based network Mukuru systems on the cash transfer service, and international money transfer specialist Western Union will soon also offer the service.

Mukuru is available in South Africa and the United Kingdom while Western Union is available in most countries and could be used by nearly a quarter of the Zimbabwean population now living abroad.

The company’s CEO Angeline Vere told Anadolu Agency that “we are already in talks with various international remittance partners in South Africa, Botswana, UK, Australia and the U.S. among other countries.”

According to the Finance Ministry, every mobile money transaction is taxed with a $,05 levy,  and so the increased number of electronic transfers will help to swell the Zimbabwean Treasury.

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