Empowering the Unbanked: The Impact of Mobile Money on Zimbabwe’s Financial Landscape.

Approximately 3.7 million adult Zimbabweans, or 54%, are unbanked. Mobile money accounts – making and receiving electronic payments via a mobile phone are tapping into the country’s unbanked.

According to research from the Finscope Consumer survey report Zimbabwe 2022, about  4.4 million adults Zimbabweans or 63% have registered mobile money accounts they used to pay for goods and services, purchasing airtime and cash transfers.

Zimbabwe’s telecom operators offer phone-based financial services, including a virtual card connected to users’ mobile money wallets. “I love it because we are unemployed and some banks need proof of employment, making it difficult to open a bank account. The mobile money accounts don’t have monthly charges,” said a virtual card user.

The reason most Zimbabweans are unbanked is simply a lack of money to open a formal bank account. With high unemployment, many people have said that bank accounts are too expensive because they require a minimum monthly deposit.

In Zimbabwe, mobile money is playing a crucial role in including people in the financial system, especially in a country where formal banks are distrusted.