Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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PayPal users in the UK can now buy, hold and sell Bitcoin too

At the end of March this year PayPal pulled a surprise when it announced that US PayPal account holders could now buy Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum right from their dashboards. This seemed like an experiment and if it was it seems to be going well too. Now PayPal has just extended this feature to PayPal […]

WhatsApp’s “view once” messages are better than nothing

For the past few months, I have been complaining about the way WhatsApp implements its disappearing messages feature. Recently they updated the options you have and now you can send and receive “view once” WhatsApp messages. The feature is kind of self-explanatory. You can choose to send a message that can only be viewed once […]

This Fintech is offering instant loans you can apply for via WhatsApp

The process of taking a loan is riddled with paperwork and back and forths to either the bank/Microfinance institute. eShagi is a fintech that promises instant loans that are given out under a 100% online process. What is eShagi? eShagi is a Fintech that claims to be different from banks and microfinance companies. How? They […]

RBZ & Udugu hosting COVID-19 Fintech Hackathon. Apply here

Jointly held by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) & Udugu Institute the COVID-19 Fintech Hackathon aims to use Fintech to address the pandemic’s effects on healthcare, digital payments and economic recovery.  The hackathon taking place from 28 to 29 August will be held virtually. It’s open to anyone with a programming or business background. Sign up […]

Money Transfer Startup Founded By Zimbabwean Secures US$5 Million

Digital company, Senditoo is fast becoming one of the dominant fintech start-ups in Africa, after securing a US$5 million line of credit from an international conglomerate. It comes after the financial enterprise, which is headquartered in London, announced it had been in talks to increase customers sending amounts from US$500 to now allowing them to […]

Upcoming Regulations Will Allow Innovators To Access Banks – RBZ

2020’s Monetary Policy Statement is out now and RBZ has once again discussed what their plans for the local Fintech industry are. Background The focus on Fintech alluded to last September in the mid-term monetary policy. The RBZ decided to create a National Fintech Steering Committee which would provide “policy direction in the Fintech space”. […]

Fintech Startups, Apply For Catapult: Inclusion Africa Competition

[Image Source: Luxembourg House of Financial Technology Facebook] CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa 2020 Bootcamp follows on from the success of the first Catapult Inclusion Africa Bootcamp, organised in November 2018, where 11 selected African Fintechs benefited from a tailor-made programme aligned with the sustainability goals of Luxembourg’s financial centre with the aim for the Fintechs to […]

RBZ Has A Strategy For Fintechs And Cryptos: Bureaucracy

So the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr John Mangudya delivered his Mid-term Monetary Policy Statement yesterday. In the appendices there is reference to financial technology businesses (Fintechs). The weight of fear The central bank continues to have quite an amount of fear and skepticism regarding fintechs. Here is one of the introductory paragraphs: Notwithstanding […]

Interview: Standard Chartered Bank Head Of Retail – “Disruption Has Forced Banks To Focus More On Clients”

On the back of Standard Chartered launching their fully digital banking app – SC Mobile- in Zimbabwe, we sat down with the bank’s Country Head for Retail Banking Valeta Mthimkhulu and discussed a number of issues from the roll-out of the app, disruption in the banking industry to what the sector might look like in […]

Investment In African Fintech’s Grew To US$357 Million In 2018

Fintech’s have been a huge deal on the African continent as they try to solve problems such as financial inclusion. In the last 12-18 month’s investment in fintech’s on the continent quadrupled to US$357 million. According to a GSMA Report –The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2019– startups in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria account for […]

Zimbabwean Fintech Startup Gets Funded By European Institutional Fund At A USD20 Million Valuation

Payitup is a payments startup in Zimbabwe that seeks to aggregate various payments services on a web and mobile application. They are still not sharing much around the specific services that they are launching but they say these cut across payment for goods and services to insurance and investment. The company’s CEO, Aretha Gonyora only […]

New Perm Sec For Ministry Of Finance Believes Non Exporters Have No Right To Demand USD From Banks

We first published this on the 31st of August 2017. A year later, the then Barclays Zimbabwe CEO, George Guvamatanga is now the newly appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. We are republishing this post because of the significance of that shift in events. Anyone who doesn’t export has no […]

Techzim Talks To Digital Payments Firm, Cellulant That Recently Raised $47.5 Million

As digital transformation continues to shift the way we think, live and do business, Fintech in Africa remains one of the fastest growing and innovating industries, capturing the imagination of both industry and consumers with topics like mobile banking being discussed across Africa Companies in Fintech and other technology sectors led Private investment firm TPG, […]

Ecocash Push Econet Revenue Growth To $831 Million, 34% Increase

Econet revenues increased to $831,6 million for the year ended February 2018. This reflected an increase of ($209.9 million) 34% relative to the last comparable period.  The increase was propped by Econet’s constant efforts of creating new avenues for revenue through its broadband and media content ventures. The newly created ventures have made Econet adopt […]

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Bans Cryptocurrency Trading. Banks Given 60 days To Comply (Full Statement)

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has issued a directive to Zimbabwean financial institutions prohibiting them from working with Cryptocurrency exchanges or holding any accounts of people trading in cryptos. The central bank has given financial institutions 60 days to end their existing relationships with crypto-currency exchanges. Here’s the full circular issued on 11 May 2018: […]

Ecobank Invites African Fintech Startups To Apply For Their Funding Competition

Pan African bank, Ecobank has just called startups with Fintech solutions to apply for the Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2018. The competition is in its second year and last year over 850 contestants applied so competition will definitely be stiff. Ecobank Fintech Challenge gives African startups a chance to promote their fintech solutions partner or an […]

Visa To Support Startups In Africa With $100 000

Visa is bringing the Everywhere Initiative,  to the region of Sub Saharan Africa. The program is meant to support innovative startups that can offer business solutions that fit into Visa’s ecosystem of products and services. The winners of the competition will walk away with $50 000 funding that they can use to grow their innovation. What is the […]

Every Zimbabwean Bank Should Be Very Afraid Of Steward Bank’s Kwenga Or At Least Copy It Faster Faster

What business are we into? This is an important question every business should keep asking themselves and in answering it they should not assume the easy, lazy and obvious. That doesn’t mean the answer has to be complex though. If you speak to my colleagues they will tell you my preferred solution is the simplest […]

Forex trading now illegal, BAZ seeking 12 board members, Golix offering jobs in fintech

It has been gazetted that trading in forex on the black market will face arrest and your cash seized by the police. BAZ is in the process of selecting 12 individuals to be in the board. Golix has vacancies for people looking to work in a fintech company. Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge […]

Forget swiping, smile to pay for your KFC

So imagine this, you and your friends walk into a KFC near you, maybe the one by Belgravia shops here in Harare. You’re there so you can order your favorite meals and just chill together. You’ve all made your choices and it’s time to pay, you take out your card to swipe or even get […]

Like Zimbabwe, Germans had hyperinflation, & still prefer paying cash for everything

We came upon some figures about the use of cash vs cards (and mobile money in our case) in other countries and it made for some interesting reading. According to a recent study about 82% of all transactions in Germany are conducted in cash.  The study was covered in a report by Quartz, which helpfully broke it […]

“Everything you wanted to know about the contentious Bitcoin upgrade” but were too afraid to ask

You may have heard bitcoin likened to a currency or commodity. It’s both of those things actually. Bitcoin is also a third thing – a payment network. What confuses most people that are new to bitcoin is how the word ‘bitcoin’ is interchangeably used to refer to all these 3 things: a currency, a commodity […]

1 in every 2 Econet subscribers is active on EcoCash

Wherever you are, 1 out of every 2 active Econet subscribers is active on EcoCash. I spent some time going through the telecommunications report from POTRAZ for the first quarter of this year. The data presented in that document led me to that conclusion and here’s how I got there. In the last quarter of […]

Press Release: EcoCash integrates with Zinara for mobile money payments at tollgates

Zimbabwe’s leading telecommunications and Technology Company Econet Wireless and the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) today announced a partnership that will see tollgates linking directly with customers’ EcoCash wallets. In a first of its kind in Zimbabwe, all EcoCash registered customers will now be able to link their vehicles with their mobile money wallets, load their EcoCash toll […]

The EcoCash ecosystem numbers update (June 2017)

Nathalie Jabangwe Morris, EcoCash Zimbabwe General Manager Today, at the announcement of the EcoCash and ZINARA tollgate integration, EcoCash Zimbabwe General Manager, Nathalie Jabangwe, noted some new milestone figures of the EcoCash ecosystem. The last time we posted these was in July 2016. 27,000 Merchants – This is up from 20,000 merchants last year. The 35% […]

New pleasant-surprise leadership appointments at Steward Bank

Today we woke up to the announcement of new appointments at Steward Bank. To Techzim readers and the local tech ecosystem in general, the bank’s new appointments will come as a pleasant surprise as these are familiar faces we interact with. The new team comprises Arthur Matsaudza, Gedion Moyo, James Ritala and Luckson Madziwa. Who are these […]

Steward Bank opening at least 3,000 new bank accounts a day, says CEO

Steward Bank is now opening at least 3,000 new bank accounts a day, the bank’s CEO, Lance Mambondiani told Techzim recently. We interview Mambondiani at the launch the company’s new Incubation Pod center at its financial services center in Avondale, Harare. “We are opening 3,000 to 4,000 new accounts everyday now. We are in a position where we have been […]

Stanbic Zimbabwe to launch mobile app before year end as it focuses on mobile banking solutions

Standard Bank Africa has launched a new banking app in six countries and will be introducing the same tool to four other countries including to its local subsidiary Stanbic Zimbabwe, before the end of 2016.

Econet doubles down on financial services opportunity, hires Telecel mobile money boss

From the information gathered so far, Matsaudza isn’t being hired to lead EcoCash, Econet’s mobile money services, though. He is expected to fill a new role focused on managing digital payments and bridging the gap between EcoCash and Steward Bank, the retail financial services institution owned by Econet Zimbabwe.

Financial Inclusion, Fintechs and Digital Disruption in Africa

Banks are going to have a ‘Uber’ moment said Anthony Jenkins after leaving Barclays as CEO in 2015. Jenkins’ message is an instructive characterization of the rise of fintechs which have gained prominence on a wave of innovation in financial services delivery in 2015. Fintechs made their impact in both the developed as well as […]