Home » Technology » HARARE LAUNCHES PROBE INTO TARIFFS CHARGED FOR MOBILE MONEY TRANSFERS

HARARE, Dec 17 — The Zimbabwe government has instructed the Competition and Tariffs Commission (CTC) to investigate the mobile banking tariff regime following concerns that the charges imposed are too high, says Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha.

Since the adoption of multiple foreign currencies in 2009, Zimbabwe has witnessed a proliferation of mobile banking facilities modeled on the one used in Kenya called M-PESA. The three mobile operators in Zimbabwe — Econet, Telecel and NetOne — offer the services but concerns have been raised over the high tariffs that they charge.

Mobile banking refers to any system that enables regular banking services through a mobile phone, even if one does not have a bank account.

Bimha said here Tuesday that the Cabinet had acted on recommendations of an Inter-Ministerial Committee which conducted a cost-driver analysis of the Zimbabwean economy. “In response to the outcry on the cost of transferring money, the Cabinet decided that mobile cash transfer costs should be investigated by the
appropriate authority,” he added.

“On this matter I am pleased to inform you that I have already instructed the CTC to undertake the assignment.”

In Zimbabwe, it is relatively expensive for transactions of 10 US dollars and above to both registered and unregistered recipients but relatively cheap at very small transaction sizes of one USD for registered recipients only.

The introduction of mobile banking services in Zimbabwe has ushered in a new era in the delivery of banking products to the public. Mobile banking services have also helped reach out to the previously unbanked population.

Globally, at least 12 million people used mobile banking services in 2009 with the number expected to climb to 45 million by the end of 2014.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

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