InnBucks rocked the nation when it launched late last year. Marketed as a loyalty and rewards programme, the service was hijacked by the public and made a domestic remittance platform. With only a 2% charge, which was the IMT Tax, the service was free and we warmed to it pretty quickly.
The extensive branch network the Simbisa service boasted was impressive. They had 234 outlets and 92 more outlets were set to be added in 2022.
As they flew high, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had to step in and halt that progress. InnBucks was banned on the 20th of April 2022. Apparently there were issues with their ADLA licence. The RBZ said they didn’t have the necessary approvals to operate a transfer service.
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InnBucks said they would work with the regulator to quickly resolve the issue. It looks like progress has been made in that endeavour. It took longer than we all expected, it’s almost 4 months since the ban.
InnBucks broke the silence on twitter.
In the video, they say, “August 2022. We’re coming back. Bigger. Better. Stronger
Their comeback looks to be imminent.
What’s happened while they were gone?
This is Zimbabwe and 4 months is a long time in this land of the overnight Statutory Instrument. Just a few weeks after InnBucks’ ban the government increased IMT Tax from 2% to 4% for all forex transfers.
So, InnBucks will be twice as expensive to use. However, if they remain aggressive with their own charges, they should still be one of the cheaper options.
The other thing that happened while InnBucks was incapacitated was the emergence of new competition.
In the whole time InnBucks conquered the domestic remittance space, EcoCash was hobbled. In the days leading to InnBucks’ ban, EcoCash reentered the forex remittance space. We salivated at the thought of competition heating up and we finally get to see how that brawl will pan out.
EcoCash FCA is now expensive to use and InnBucks could yet overtake the once formidable opponent. There might not be a brawl after all.
The other new competition comes in the form of banks. CBZ and POSB both entered this domestic remittance space and they are aggressive with their fees. POSB is especially aggressive with their 1.5% charge.
The other players that were around during InnBucks’ first stint are still here too. Access Forex just partnered with Senditoo, Mukuru is going nowhere, City Hopper is still at it and NBS InstaCash lives on.
OneMoney has been aggressive too, charging users 0% on the first transaction and 3% after that. The 4% IMTT is paid in both cases though.
It’s going to be a bloody fight and by the end we will have witnessed at least one player hit the deck.
Welcome back InnBucks, make this fight a good one.