The government has been urged to address the real causes of inflation in the country instead of targeting mobile money platforms.
This comes when the foreign exchange rate on both the official and parallel markets is continuously going up despite a crackdown on some mobile money platforms such as Ecocash and On Money.
In the recent past, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) barred some fintech companies and digital financial services providers from dealing in foreign currency in a move viewed by some as an attempt to end the dominance of the United State dollar as local tender.
The government adopted the USD in 2009 when Zimbabwe nosedived into hyperinflation but has been trying to phase it out since 2019.
Tendai Mupaso, a Zimbabwean e-commerce and fintech products builder, told Quartz that the country needs to address the root cause of inflation and not scapegoat mobile money platforms. Said Mupaso:
The parallel market rate ($1:ZWL400) has constantly increased despite shutting down some mobile money channels (against $1:ZWL150 on the official market). The country needs to address the root cause of inflation and not scapegoat mobile money platforms.
Mupaso added that the shutting down of new digital financial services providers such as Innbucks means Zimbabweans now have to rely on traditional money transfer services whose costs can be restrictively high.
According to Juda Levine, the CEO of Mondato, a digital finance advisory company, mobile money agents are an important component of the mobile money ecosystem, especially in the African context.