Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

RBZ bans Simbisa’s InnBucks with immediate effect!

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has announced that it has ordered Simbisa to halt operations of its loyalty and rewards program, InnBucks with immediate effect. The RBZ’s statement on InnBucks is as follows: PRESS STATEMENT CESSATION OF INNBUCKS OPERATING AS A MONEY TRANSFER SERVICE PROVIDER The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank) advises the […]

Standard Chartered says “sales process will commence in due course” as bank exits Zim

Last week, Standard Chartered Bank announced that it will be withdrawing from Zim along with Angola Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sierra Leone. The decision to do this is because these territories accounted for 1% of the bank’s income in 2021. We reached out to Standard Chartered Bank to get more information about what will […]

No, InnBucks is NOT phasing out USSD but service disruption came at worst time

Earlier this week through yesterday, the 13th of April, InnBucks’ USSD platform faced challenges. Users would get a message that the USSD service was not available. As a result users had to use the app instead to conduct their business.  InnBucks communicated that they were working with Econet engineers to resolve the problem in a […]

Standard Chartered is leaving Zimbabwe but its not happening overnight

Standard Chartered has announced that it will be pulling out of Zimbabwe as well as Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sierra Leone. Additionally, the bank will be scaling down operations in Tanzania and Ivory Coast, focusing only on corporate banking. The reason for the complete departure (and scaling back) from these markets, according to […]

30% interest per month on a loan? The Zimbabwean credit situation improving but still the wild west

There is no such thing as a purely capitalist economy and like many, Zimbabwe is a mixed economy. However, we have flirted with socialism more than most with our ‘command’ efforts in recent times as an example.  We still have a somewhat limited free market though. Although the government loves to exert control in the […]

Cassava’s Sasai Remit partners with UK women’s org on money transfers to Zim & SA

Sasai Remit, a subsidiary of Cassava Technologies, has announced a partnership with Qoki Zindlovukazi, a United Kingdom-based women’s networking and empowerment organisation. The two say the partnership will enable both organisations to empower thousands of Zimbabweans to use a safe and secure fintech platform to seamlessly transfer funds to family and friends in South Africa […]

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

Last night EcoCash Zimbabwe launched its domestic remittance service and at the same event, the country’s largest mobile money operator also announced that Cash in services are back through its FCA Wallet that will operate from the brand new *153# USSD (and mobile app). This development looks to be in line with the near as […]

EcoCash enters USD money transfers with a domestic remittance service

It was just a matter of time, wasn’t it? With domestic remittance services launching left right and centre, EcoCash was the last marquee name that wasn’t in the mix. Which was, until last night, a little surprising… The remittance game in Zimbabwe is one of the most sought after because the figures for incoming funds […]

Govt says new ZWL$100 note (worth US$0.69) on the way shortly

The Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube announced the introduction of a new $100 banknote. The minister announced this through Statutory Instrument 68A of 2022. In early 2021 we got reports that there would be $100 and $200 notes following close behind the $50 note. At the time the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe denied those reports […]

EcoCash Foreign Currency Account wallet cash-in service still suspended. Customer service staff confused

EcoCash allows users to have both a Zimdollar and a foreign currency wallet using the same phone number. So, if you have an EcoCash account, you already have the foreign currency account (FCA).  For now only two foreign currency accounts are available, the Rand account and the USD account. They work just like the Zimdollar […]

It’s not you, BancABC is experiencing yet another ‘systems challenge’

No, you’re not reading the notice from 10 days ago and this isn’t déjà vu. Indeed, BancABC has announced that it is facing another systems challenge. The notice posted on their twitter account reads as follows: IMPORTANT NOTICE: SYSTEMS CHALLENGE To our Valued Customers, Please note that we have been experiencing intermittent service across our […]

FINSEC to roll-out automated contract writing & derivatives trading

While browsing on Twitter, we came across a thread on the Financial Securities Exchange (Private) Limited’s (FINSEC) official account, that said it was working on automated contract writing and derivatives trading. The thread by FINSEC reads as follows: FINSEC will be introducing automated contract writing and derivatives trading, complete with direct integration of the trading, […]

BancABC is experiencing a “system challenge” with its banking platforms

BancABC has announced that it is facing some system challenges with its banking platforms. The notice posted on BancABC’s Twitter account reads as follows: IMPORTANT NOTICE: SYSTEMS CHALLENGE NOTIFICATION To our Valued Customers, Please be advised that we are experiencing intermittent service on all of our banking platforms. Efforts are underway to rectify the issue. […]

Cashless societies prone to abuse by govts, Canada shows. Is Zim better off for preferring cash?

In Zim, the RBZ’s FIU can freeze your account without court order. A fact that won’t scare many who shun the official banking sector. For various reasons, Zimbabwe has been becoming an increasingly cashless society with every passing year. In the Reserve Bank’s latest monetary policy statement we found out that of the total Zimdollar […]

First Capital Bank partners with Hellopaisa and is going paperless

First Capital Bank Limited has today announced two major developments that it says will positively reshape its service delivery for key segments. These are the launch of its collaborative partnership with Hellopaisa Money Transfer Agency and a move to go paperless under its personal account segment.  Remittances Money transfer inflows from the diaspora have been […]

Standard Bank named Africa’s most valuable banking brand

Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe’s parent company, Standard Bank Group, has been named as the most valuable banking brand on the African continent for 2022 in Brand Finance’s annual ranking of the world’s Top 500 Banking Brands, after increasing its brand value by 26% to USD1.583 billion.  This significant increase in brand value has seen Africa’s largest […]

POSB launches loans available only to OneMoney customers

POSB Zimbabwe has announced a new micro-loan facility for OneMoney account holders called Mobiloans. The loans are akin to what Steward Bank and EcoCash have been doing with their Kashagi loans which were reintroduced last year. Dial *226# on your @NetOneCellular line now to apply for the instant POSB Mobiloan to buy stationery and smaller […]

[Download] The Monetary Policy Statement – 7 Feb 2022

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe released the Monetary Policy Statement for the second half of 2021. The RBZ has to release such a statement every six months “outlining the monetary policy stance for the subsequent six months, the reasons for the policies and an evaluation of the previous period monetary policy measures.” You can download […]

ZIMRA exceeded its own expectations in Q4 2021 with a 48% uptick in collections

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has released its Q4 2021 results and the tax authority went over and above its own projections for the period under review. ZIMRA recorded ZWL$161.08 billion in gross collections which is a 48.91% increase on its target of ZWL$108.17 billion. The net revenue collected was ZWL$157.19 billion because ZIMRA said […]

Standard Chartered is adding more ATMs for USD and ZWL$ withdrawals

Standard Chartered Bank has announced that it is increasing ATM locations that will allow for more USD and ZWL$ cash withdrawals. The bank launched one in Chinoyi a couple of weeks ago and will be rolling more out soon. Here are all the current Standard Chartered Bank ATM locations. City/Town No of ATMs Location Harare […]

Local remittance service Tumai has a 5% extra airtime, ZESA and data promotion

The remittance game, be it for money, goods and or services has blossomed over the pandemic era even when early projections forecasted a decline because of restricted incomes for the African diaspora. Locally we have been inundated with new services coming to the fore and older ones offering discounts and transaction free periods to entice […]

Deadline for 2021 Return For Tax On Employment Income is 30/01/2022

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has in a statement notified the public that the deadline for 2021 Return For Tax On Employment Income (ITF16) is on the 30th of January 2022. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) hereby reminds all taxpayers who are employers toextract from their payrolls, prepare and submit ITF 16 return (Return for […]

BancABC is going to be down for an entire weekend

BancABC announced on Twitter that it is going to be doing some work on its system from the 4th to the 6th of February 2022. The outage is going to see all banking services down during the duration of the maintenance exercise. IMPORTANT NOTICE: SCHEDULED SYSTEM MAINTENANCE To our Valued Customers, Kindly note that we […]

ZIMRA’s portal is “undergoing maintenance”, the yearly tradition continues

No prizes for predicting this one because much like every year in recent memory the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has announced that its online portal will be undergoing maintenance. This comes as the usual rush to acquire Tax Clearance certificates (ITF263) peaks as businesses seek to get it out of the way and stay on […]

RBZ is coming after businesses involved in currency manipulation

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has in a tweet announced that it would start taking action against entities that are breaching the Bank Use Promotion Act and those that are involved in currency manipulation. This follows the Financial Intelligence Unit’s (FIU) investigations of entities that are allegedly committing these offences. The statement by the […]

Dr Mangudya graded by the Central Banker Report Cards

Update: The previous title of this article was “Dr Mangudya ranked worst Reserve Bank Governor” this was incorrect. The Reserve Bank Governor got a C-“ Global Finance has been publishing the Central Banker Report Cards since 1994. As you many have already guessed this is a school style mark for the world’s central bank governors […]

Zim would benefit from this Nigerian ethical debt-collection platform

In my travels on the internet, I came across a Nigerian startup called BFree that recently closed a US$1.7 million Series A round. It’s a credit management fintech that deals in ethical debt collection and it kind of took me aback because of my Zimbabwean sensibilities when it comes to borrowing. Debt, or chikwereti in […]

OK Zimbabwe & NSSA are offering Pensioners a 10% discount

Discounts have been a little obsession of mine over the last few weeks, mostly for USD purchases. Shops like TM Pick N Pay and TV Sales are trying to entice their customers to make purchases in hard currency in order to recoup the elusive USD. However this time there is a discount of a completely […]

Discounts for USD: a game of haves vs have nots

Discounts for USD purchases is a “hidden” business practice in Zimbabwe. Late last year we reported on TM Pick n Pay’s 50% discount for groceries bought with US$ and it looks like they aren’t the only ones doing this. We were out on the town this week and popped into TV Sales and we noticed […]

Zimbabwe’s Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Tax Tables explained

Pay As You Earn (PAYE) is a system that is used to calculate how much from your gross earnings your employer is going to deduct to pay the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) Income Tax on your behalf. The Income Tax Act [Chapter 23:06] specifies which parts of your salary as an employee are subject to […]