Mobile money can drive economic growth – Moody’s

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HARARE: Zimbabwe is among several sub-Saharan countries that stand to benefit from the growth of mobile phone banking which has potential to boost economies and create opportunities for banks, global credit rating firm Moody’s has said.
In a report, entitled Mobile Phone Banking Supportive of Economic Growth and Banking Sector Prospects, Moody’s said Sub-Saharan Africa was experiencing the world’s fastest rise in new bank accounts, fuelled by the growth in mobile banking.
The growth has driven an increase in access to financial services, giving opportunities for banks to expand services across the continent.
Zimbabwe has 6,2 million registered mobile money subscribers according to the latest data from telecomms regulator, Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) for the country’s three mobile telephone operators, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (Econet), NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe (Telecel).
However, total deposits on Zimbabwe’s mobile money platforms slumped 10,5 percent in the third quarter of 2015, to record  $458 million from $512 million recorded prior quarter.
“Mobile phone banking technology is helping to include more and more people in Sub Saharan Africa into the formal financial sector and the economy more broadly,” said Moody’s in the report.
Kenya has the highest levels of people with mobile phone bank accounts, with Uganda, Tanzania, the Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Rwanda and South Africa all well-positioned to benefit from mobile money growth.
“Over time, increased access to formal financial services, including mobile bank accounts, has the potential to boost economic growth and diversification — by increasing productivity and facilitating investment in small and medium sized enterprises — and reduce poverty,” said Moody’s.Advertisement