Techzim

Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

advertisement
advertisement

InnBucks is back as a bank, is it still as low cost as it was before?

InnBucks

They told us their return was imminent last week and they weren’t bluffing, InnBucks is back. Of their return, they said,

…announcing the return of Zimbabwe’s favourite low-cost transaction platform. We’re now up and running again, and we look forward to serving you even better!

InnBucks on Twitter

I can’t even argue with the ‘Zimbabwe’s favourite low-cost transaction platform’ part. InnBucks was well loved for its low cost. It cost just 2% to transfer funds last time around.

However, like we mentioned last week, the landscape changed in their absence. There is now a hefty 4% Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) to be levied on all transactions. So how do the new InnBucks tariffs look?

  • Deposits – FREE
  • Cash withdrawal – 2%
  • Send money (BFF) [Up to $5] – 1%
  • Send money (BFF) [Above $5] – 5% (which includes 4% IMTT)
  • Account limit – $500
  • Single transaction limit (BFF) – $250
  • Monthly transaction limit (BFF) – $1000

BFF is short for Buy For Friend, you can find out more about that here.

The account limit of $500 is the wallet limit. Under no circumstances can one hold more than that in their InnBucks account.

If an incoming transfer would have the balance exceed that amount, you won’t be able to receive it. If you have $300 in your account, you won’t be able to receive $201. It can’t.

The transaction limit is simple enough to understand. You can only deposit, withdraw, or send a maximum of $250 at a time. Remember though, at no time can your account balance exceed $500.

What sending $150 looks like

If you want to send $150 to a friend and want them to withdraw $150 you have to deposit $162. It will cost about $12 to get $150 in your friend’s hand. That’s approximately 7%. The government takes 4% and InnBucks gets its 3% (1% to transfer and 2% to cash out.)

You will note that the tariff structure is designed to dissuade you from cashing out. It’s cheaper to send money in your account to someone else than it is to withdraw it.

Let me show you how InnBucks fares on my Kadoma test. Kadoma is close to 150km from Harare and going there by public transport costs $5 one way. Or $10 to and from.

This means sending someone with $150 in cash to Kadoma is cheaper than sending it via InnBucks. The journey will take just over 4 hours. Is blowing 4 hours worth the $2 savings? What if you can be productive on that journey? One will have to make a decision.

The government makes more from InnBucks transactions than InnBucks themselves. That’s why in certain circumstances, sending via InnBucks won’t be the best option even with the super low 1% charge on transfers.

InnBucks as a bank

That’s all well and good but can we count on InnBucks not to be shut down this time around? We don’t want to get excited and have it yanked from us again.

Well, you can’t bet against the Zimbabwean government finding a way but InnBucks has set themselves up well enough not to fall afoul of the regulators again.

LAUNCH OF INNBUCKS PRODUCT
We are pleased to advise all our customers and stakeholders that the Regulators have authorized the launch of the INNBUCKS product. Existing InnBucks account holders will have their accounts automatically reactivated.


INNBUCKS now operates as a product of Ndoro Microfinance Bank Limited, a registered Microfinance Bank. This arrangement will bring additional services and benefits to INNBUCKS customers.


Members of the public are therefore able to transact and enjoy the services and benefits of Zimbabwe’s favourite, low cost, platform through the network of over 260 Quick Service Restaurants of Simbisa Brands Limited.


Thank you for your patience and we look forward to your continued support and use of the enhanced INNBUCKS product offering which you can explore at www.innbucks.co.zw


Thank you to our Regulators for the constructive engagements which have resulted in the licensing of the INNBUCKS product.


By Order of the Boards
Ndoro Microfinance Bank / InnBucks / Simbisa Brands

InnBucks

What’s going on here?

When they say their product has been enhanced, they mean it. InnBucks is now a product of Ndoro Microfinance bank. This Ndoro is registered as a deposit taking microfinance institution and was licensed in 2021 and authorised to conduct deposit-taking microfinance business in March 2022.

Did Simbisa register Ndoro or acquire it? We don’t know but InnBucks is now a Ndoro product and that means Ndoro is most likely a Simbisa subsidiary.

Although we are saying InnBucks is now a Ndoro product, what really happened is that InnBucks got itself a microfinance licence. Complete with Deposit Protection membership.

This means there is room to expand the InnBucks service. Could we be looking at InnBucks loans in the future, for example? I sure hope so.

What do you think about all this? Do let us know in the comments below.

Also read:

InnBucks set to make a comeback to a changed domestic remittance landscape

4% forex tax & withdrawal levy: Forever banishing the idea of banking USD

EcoCash FCA wallet cash-in RETURNS. Is the informal market going to jump on?


Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

23 thoughts on “InnBucks is back as a bank, is it still as low cost as it was before?

    1. The limits imposed by the regulator are ridiculous. They don’t want these services used for business at all.

  1. Zimbabwe companies still scared of giving out credit cards to their clients… The world over it’s the norm. Everyone everywhere lives on credits. These innovative technology mean nothing without financing the customer

    1. Everyone? 😳 Not everyone wants credit and even fewer *need* credit. And, if you do want it, that’s exactly what microfinance institutions do, just that the funds go to your preexisting bank account. Is the problem that you are not getting a piece of plastic too?

      1. I am one of those that don’t want credit. I know its importance in an economy though. At the same time I don’t think we have take the same paths that current first world countries took. The amount of debt the Americans have for example is staggering. China is struggling with debt too. In short, credit cards are not a silver bullet.

  2. Don’t rule out the convincience in sending money via these Government sucked platforms. I would rather waste the “2 bucks” than looking for public transport heading to kadoma. Wait, as i was typing, i noticed that not everyone lives in town, majority have to use that 2 bucks to board a combi into and out of town.

    1. I know that most would not choose to travel to Kadoma. The point is that it should not be cheaper to do so. But sticking to it though, what if there is young person just sitting at home on their school holidays that you can send? Would that make sense?
      Going further, what if you’re sending $500. The charges would reach $35 in that case. Would $25 in savings make sense. To be honest, in that scenario I would travel.

  3. Is BancABCs CityHopper subsidizing the IMT tax? There are still charging 3%, are they taking a loss on IMT & no margin from there domestic remittance service or what?

  4. I think so far Mojo Moolah is one of the cheapest. Access is also good but a bit pricey. I am waiting for a comparison of local money remittance services.

  5. Sending money by bus is not instant, time lost is a cost, though the argument was what if something productive happens along the way…there is also the cost of getting to town by public transport. Consider opportunity cost.

  6. What is the maximum number of Innbucks accounts that one can have? I would assume that each phone number that you have is a potential account, right? The number of lines allowed by mobile service providers is about 3 meaning potential one could have 9 accounts based on the 3 service providers Econet, Telecel and Netone.. this means you can hold up to 4500USD in these accounts…this means 4,500 safely held my Simbisa with no monthly bank charges…sounds good…in a year I would have circumvented about 120 USD in monthly service charges….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.