HARARE, October 21 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s largest mobile telephone company, Econet Wireless, and global money transfer giant MoneyGram on Tuesday launched a new mobile money platform that enables customers from more than 200 countries to transfer funds via its EcoCash platform.
The new service will see more than 4,9 million EcoCash subscribers and MoneyGram customers transacting up to $10,000 per day across the EcoCash network.
MoneyGram vice-president for Africa, Herve Chomel said the company’s partnership with Econet furthers MoneyGram’s vision of expanding its self-service offerings.
“With the service, we are offering millions of consumers, many in remote areas of the country, access to a fast, reliable and secure method of transferring money, much of which is used to purchase life essentials and daily expenses,” said Chomel at the launch.
Speaking at the same occasion Econet Head Business and Marketing Development, Natalie Jabangwe, said in-wallet remittances were becoming more pivotal in driving access to international remittances for the previously unbanked and also driving further financial inclusion.
“By working with MoneyGram, we will help reach more consumers who rely on our domestic and international remittance services to handle their daily financial needs,” she said.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe deputy governor Charity Dhliwayo said the country was working on a Diaspora Policy, which seeks to recognise the significant contribution such remittances make in the country’s economic development.
Zimbabwe received $409,5 million from the Diaspora in the first half of the year and $840 million in 2014, about six percent of its Gross Domestic Product and Dhliwayo said the latest statistics from the World Bank show that remittances have overshadowed foreign direct investment and official development assistance in a number of developing countries – Zimbabwe included.
“As a country that has a significant base of diasporans, increased participation and involvement of this diaspora community in the country’s economic development agenda is critical,” said Dhliwayo.
World Bank show that international remittances to developing countries are expected to reach $440 billion in 2015.
Zimbabwe is estimated to have more than 3,5 million of its population living in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Australia among others.