Recently I did an article where I covered some latest developments on mobile money interoperability. In case you did not know yet there is now an option on the EcoCash menu that allows you to send money from your wallet to other bank accounts plus One Money and TeleCash. Of course, there has been outrage on the hefty transaction charges which I myself also noticed. Charging almost ZWL$50 for sending ZWL$10 is quick shocking – I tried out the new option and that is what I got. Anyways, a day or so ago, transaction limits on mobile money were reviewed or were they? Let us get into that now.

Recent Communiques From Mobile Money Providers

On the 8th of October I received the following SMS from EcoCash: “Good News. EcoCash individual spending limit is now ZWL$35,000 per week. You can use up this limit in 1 or more days. The limit per each transaction is ZWL$5,000”. The following day, on the 9th, they sent another SMS as follows, “Dear Valued Customer. Please be reminded that the limit per transaction shall remain at ZWL$5,000”. That same day they send yet again another SMS saying, “Dear Customer. Be advised that your ZWL$5000 daily limit can now be utilized as a weekly limit of ZWL$35000 subject to strict monitoring for compliance purposes”.

On the 9th of October, I also received an SMS from One Money. The SMS read as follows, “Dear Valued Customer. Please note that OneMoney individual limits have been increased to $35000 per week, each transaction has a $5000 limit”.

So that is the latest regarding individual mobile money transaction. That has received mixed feelings from the public and I will briefly look at some of the public reactions.

Public Reactions To The Development

One particular user on social media said, “That is not an increase because it was always 35000 per week that is daily limit of 5000 times 7 days of the week that translates to 35000. The only difference is that you can exhaust your 35000 in a day which means for the rest of the week no transacting so where is your increase here?

I deliberately picked that comment because it really sums it all. Before you were limited to more than ZWL$5000 per day – so it was actually ZWL$35000 per week. However, with the new development, it is now possible to exhaust the ZWL$35000 at once and you wait for the next week. So technically it actually is an increase since you could not transact more than ZWL$5000 at one go before. I know some people have been sensationalist by saying this is not an increase in the transaction limit – well, it actually is.

Implications Of The Development

There are always two sides of a coin i.e. upsides and downsides and so it is for this development. The review is going to ease making transactions for the general populace. You can imagine that limit to just ZWL$5000 has been quite hectic. Especially for most people who have had to probably pay school fees using EcoCash it has not been pleasant. Thus there is definitely a relief for the transacting public in that regard.

There are also implications for the money changers. They can now transact ZWL$35000 at one go per week if they want. The ZWL$140000 (per month) that they had to transact in numerous ZWL$5000 chunks they can now do in probably just 4 transactions. I do feel that is where the monitoring aspect comes in I suppose. After all, these transaction limits have been mainly directed towards constricting money changing activities.

Do you think this development has any bearing towards fuelling undesirable economic scenarios e.g. inflation? Let us know in the comments below.

Overall, it has been and continues to be interesting how some things are changing in Zimbabwe. Lately, we have been witnessing downward price reviews in some areas. For instance, we have seen ZUPCO fares being reviewed downwards. I have also been to outlets where they have reduced the prices of some of their items. Can this be an indication of a stabilizing operating environment or it is just a fleeting trend? What are your thoughts? Kindly drop your comments below.