News Column

Mobile, Internet Transactions Rise

August 4, 2014

THE value of mobile and internet-based transactions rose by 44,61 percent in June from the previous month as the wave of electronic payments continue gathering momentum. The mobile and internet transactions rose to $388,46 million last month from $268,62 million in May, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said in a monthly report for June.

Over the past few years, the growing use of mobile devices in the country has opened the door for advanced financial products with consumers now able to access financial services at any time even in the previously unbanked remote areas.

Econet Wireless said its mobile money transfer platform EcoCash now boasts 3,5 million subscribers. Telecel Zimbabwe subscribers on its similar platform has reached 600 000 since its launch in January. It is targeting 1,2 million subscribers by year end.

The value of transactions processed through RTGS system in June 2014 increased by nine percent to $3,7 billion from $3,4 billion in May while the volume of transactions registered a decline of three percent from 200 146 to 193 582 in the same period.

The total value of card-based transactions increased by 21,04 percent to $361,25 million in June 2014, from $298,46 million in May and the value of cheque transactions increased to $13,65 million in June 2014 from $12,42 million a month earlier.

Annual growth in broad money increased to 12,65 in June 2014. Broad money was recorded at $4,32 billion in June from $3,83 billion in the same period last year.

On a monthly basis, broad money, however, declined by 0,05 percent. The monthly decline in broad money was underpinned by outflows of $53,16 million in demand deposits and $6,3 million in deposits with a maturity of less than 30 days.

Offsetting these declines were inflows amounting to $30,6 million in deposits with a maturity of over 30 days and $26,7 million in savings deposits. Against the background of a surge in deposits, annual growth in domestic credit rose to 6,05 percent largely reflecting a 141,82 percent increase in net credit to the Government.

"Reflecting this, Treasury Bills holdings by commercial and merchant banks increased by 246,64 percent between June 2013 and June 2014," said the Reserve Bank.

Credit to private sector continued to be driven by loans and advances, which were partly sustained by offshore lines of credit, as local sources of liquidity remain under strain.

Lending to the private sector by banks was almost flat at $2,95 billion, the report said.

The distribution industry and household borrowers received 18,14 percent and 18,1 percent share of the cumulative loans and advances, respectively.

"The loans and advances were mainly utilised to meet short-term working capital requirements, restocking and raw material procurement, as well as to finance consumer durables and other consumption related expenses," said the central bank.

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Source: AllAfrica

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