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Zimbabwe's InnBucks gets green light to resume services

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Zimbabwean mobile money platform, InnBucks, has resumed its service following its abrupt suspension by the country's central bank earlier this year.

Run by its parent company, Simbisa Brands, the mobile money platform has returned, this time in partnership with a registered deposit-taking microfinance institution, Ndoro Microfinance Bank Limited.

The mobile platform allows its consumers to send and receive money, as well as purchase from fast food outlets.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) suspended InnBucks in April saying it was not registered to operate.

"We are pleased to advise all our customers and stakeholders that the Regulators have authorised the launch of the INNBUCKS product."

"Existing InnBucks account holders will have their accounts automatically reactivated," a joint statement by Ndoro Microfinance Bank Limited, InnBucks and Simbisa Brands said.

In suspending InnBucks operations, RBZ argued that the mobile money platform had not obtained the necessary approvals.

RBZ said it directed InnBucks to apply for and obtain necessary approvals in order to continue offering the service, but the company didn't do that and was suspended.

Fighting hyper-inflation

The Zimbabwean government has also been trying to fight hyper-inflation by encouraging citizens to use the local currency, therefore being tough on platforms dealing in different currencies.

In tightening the screws on mobile money operators, RBZ at one time blamed EcoCash for inflaming parallel market exchange rates, ITWeb Africa reported.

In May, the Zimbabwean government took steps to make it more expensive to use foreign currency rather than the national currency.

Want to know more about mobile financial services in Africa? Check out our dedicated Fintech content channel here on Connecting Africa.

The decision also included a money transfer tax of 4% that applies to every foreign currency transfer carried out in the country.

This led to WorldRemit – one of the largest money transfer services in Zimbabwe – deciding to no longer offer direct bank transfers in the country.

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*Top image source: created by Allexxandar -

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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