Cassava Smartech has threatened to shutdown Ecocash, the largest mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service in the country following a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe directive which ordered mobile money agents to stop cash-in, cash-out and cash-back facilities.
The RBZ argued that the move was taken to curb money laundering which they said mobile money agents, particularly Ecocash Agents were promoting or participating in.
Newz Wire Live notes that shutting down Ecocash has a very huge impact on the country considering how Ecocash is linked to virtually every sector of the economy.
In their urgent High Court application Cassava Smartech, the parent company of Ecocash said:
Pulling down EcoCash could thus mean loss of life, loss of opportunities that could save livelihoods and financial loss running into hundreds of millions if not billions.
Below are some of the figures suggesting how critical Ecocash is to the Zimbabwe economy.
- Value of money that moves on mobile phones, EcoCash controls – 99.4%; Telecash and OneMoney process 0.1% and 0.5% respectively (POTRAZ).
- Ecocash has 94.5% of the total number of mobile money subscribers in the country; OneMoney controls 4.7%; Telecash, 0.8%.
- Current number of EcoCash users – 10,562,070
- EcoCash controls 94.5% of the total transactions by mobile money transfer.
- EcoCash is also plugged in to at least 10 banks, allowing users to move money between their bank accounts and phones.
- There have been 44.7 million mobile money transactions in the week to September 6, according to the last available data from RBZ.
- RBZ reports that transactions worth Z$3 billion were performed on mobile money platforms in the week to September 6, according to RBZ data.
- Ecocash has 50,000 agents that have now been put out of business after the RBZ directive.
- Ecocash has transacted about US$78 billion since launch in 2011.
More: Newz Wire Live
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