Back in March, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) announced the launch of its Fintech Regulatory Sandbox. This platform is a way for the central bank and the country’s financial institutions to mix and mingle with innovators and startups in the fintech space.
When we reported on it earlier this year we were disappointed by the exclusion of cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses. 2021 has been the year of cryptos with Bitcoin and altcoins like the comical Dogecoin gaining in value (albeit with some scares here and there).
As disappointing as it was that the RBZ snubbed cryptos the whole initiative is not a complete loss. It presents a unique opportunity for fintech, API, mobile money, digital KYC, Cybersecurity, Equity crowdfunding startups and more to forge relationships with the traditional players in the financial sector.
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We all know how out of touch the traditional players can be sometimes. An example of this is how it is easier to pay for goods and services online in USD than it is with your local currency card. One would have thought that with the Ministry of Finance championing the Zim dollar we would have seen an innovation that makes it easier to pay online with your ZWL$ card come to light, but that isn’t the case.
And here is where you come in. Pitching your ideas through the RBZ’s Fintech Regulatory Sandbox could have an impact on how the rest of us trade in the future. As Zimbabweans we often (and rightfully so) complain about how marginalised new innovations are. Here is your chance to maybe change things from within.
Applications for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Fintech Sandox are still open and you can register with the link here.
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Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said that the government had a budget surplus of ZWL$9.8 billion in Q1 2021. Now, that’s just over US$100 million (by the RBZ auction rate) and that’s a lot of money. So we discussed what a budget surplus is, if it is a good or bad thing in the Zimbabwean context, and how the government could possibly use all that money.
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