Zimbabwe to clarify regulatory frameworks for mobile banking

Mar 31, 2016

Many mobile banking providers are outside the scope of financial regulation.

The government of Zimbabwe is working on refining the rules that govern mobile banking activities, according to the acting director of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), Baxton Sirewu,

He told The Herald that activities in the sector are largely led by non-bank organisations that are traditionally outside the scope of financial regulation, which has led to concern that the lack of clear regulation in the sector could lead to abuse of the system.

"The mobile banking operator has got one leg in the financial field regulated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and one leg in the telecoms sector regulated by ourselves, but for co-ordination purposes we meet quarterly with the RBZ to address any regulatory gaps or weaknesses that may be found in the system," Baxton Sirewu said, adding that this matter is being "addressed".

Zimbabwe counts several mobile banking services provided by the three mobile operators in the country: Econet, Telecel and NetOne.

Mobile banking is set to become an important tool to boost access to finance in the country and stimulate the overall economy, by bringing banking services to Zimbabweans in rural areas that do not have access to bank branches.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said it is aiming to increase the proportion of banked adults to at least 60 per cent of the population by 2020 from 30 per cent in 2014.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801815627-ADNFCR