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Government to Reintroduce Mobile Wallet Agents and Enable Small Forex Transactions at Official Rates

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People will soon be able to access bureaux de change for small foreign exchange transactions at the official exchange rate, as the government plans to reintroduce mobile wallet agents. This move aims to promote the use of electronic ZiG and ensure legal foreign currency trading.

Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Deputy Minister, Mr. David Mnangagwa, informed Parliament last week that the government is collaborating with the private sector to facilitate small transactions. This initiative will allow citizens to legally and conveniently access foreign currency.

This policy change follows the 2020 suspension of over 4,000 EcoCash agents due to their involvement in charging excessive premiums for mobile money cash-ins.

Mr. Mnangagwa announced the new policy in the Senate while addressing Senators’ concerns about measures to curb illegal foreign currency trading. “We are working on a solution with the private sector to allow small transactions, enabling the general populace to obtain small amounts, such as $20 or $50, through negotiations with mobile network operators to access bureaux de change via their EcoCash or Netcash platforms,” he said.

He explained that if individuals have an Econet line and are registered for EcoCash, they will be able to convert between ZiG and US dollars at the official exchange rate without resorting to the black market.

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This initiative is expected to promote financial inclusion, reduce reliance on the black market, and increase the use of electronic ZiG.

The plan also involves reactivating EcoCash agents across the country, especially in rural areas, to ensure widespread access to legal foreign currency. “The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is currently discussing with mobile network operators, particularly Econet, which was suspended in 2020.

We aim to reactivate agents so that even the most remote areas can access both US dollars and ZiG from their wallets,” Mnangagwa added.

Furthermore, Econet recently zero-rated the charges for sending money from the diaspora to Zimbabwe, demonstrating support for the government’s efforts and commitment to financial inclusion during the El Nino period.

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