Several money sending or transfer companies have sprouted over the past couple of years in Zimbabwe. By the look of things, more may still emerge moving forward. Money transfer companies are always flawed. Most of them have several issues that need to be addressed. This is money-sending why it makes sense for new players to enter the space. New money transfer companies can bring a lot in terms of value proposition in Zimbabwe. That is why it is worth exploring how to, you must start a registered money transfer company in Zimbabwe.

Key Requirements

Licensing – ADLA License

To operate as a money transfer company, you mus be licensed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). Licensing requirements for a money transfer company are derived from Section 35 (1) of Exchange Control Statutory Instrument 109 of 1996 as read with Section 7 (1) of Exchange Control (Authorised Dealers with Limited Authority) Order, Statutory Instrument 104 of 2015 and Exchange Control Statutory Instrument 122A of 2017.

You can apply physically to the Director, Exchange Control Division, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, 80 Samora Machel Avenue, P.O. Box 1283, Harare.

There are two tiers or levels of money transfer categorisations in Zimbabwe. They are as follows:

Tier 1

This is a locally incorporated money transfer operator or money transfer agent (MTO/MTA) partnering with approved MTOs or using its systems and solely carrying out both inward and outward international remittances and buying and selling foreign exchange on a spot basis.

Tier 2

This pertains to locally incorporated money transfer operators (MTOs) operating as money transfer agencies (MTAs) by either partnering with approved international money transfer operators or using their system to carry out inward international remittances only and buy and sell foreign exchange on a spot basis.

Licensing And Registration Of Authorised Dealers With Limited Authority (ADLAs)

Application for ADLA licence (money transfer and Bureaux de Change) can be made online through the link All the required documents should be uploaded and submitted to Exchange Control through the system. After processing the application, the applicant shall obtain the response from Exchange Control through the same system. Just to let you know, every ADLA licence unless varied by Exchange Control, shall expire on 31st December each year.

What Is Needed For The Application?

There are quite a number of things needed for you to make an application for an ADLA license. Here are they:

  • Certificate of incorporation of the applicant
  • Details of the applicant’s company name, physical business address, certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association, official register of directors/shareholders of the company (CR 14)
  • Names of the key promoter(s) of the ADLA
  • Declaration by the applicant’s board of directors authorising the company to be an ADLA
  • A proposed business plan and five-year projections of growth and profitability, including the assumptions supporting the projections
  • Business risk management plan identifying the business risk and risk mitigation measures
  • An anti-money laundering policy document/program showing that the applicant has a sufficient anti-money laundering and combating of terrorist financing framework
  • Previous Six (6) months’ bank account statement
  • Company Financial Statements (Audited/ Unaudited)
  • AML certificate of the international partner in the case of money transfer business
  • CVs of the proposed Bureaux de Change board members, managers and officers who are expected to have sufficient knowledge to run the business of an ADLA
  • Zimbabwe Republic Police clearance of proposed ADLA officers and directors
  • Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) tax clearance certificate
  • Declarations by all persons (individually) who are holding, or are proposing to have, the office of a director of, or shareholding in an ADLA in respect of each director and shareholder
  • A register of natural beneficiary shareholders (not nominees or legal persons) holding at least 10% of ADLA shares and the percentage shareholding, physical addresses and bankers. The applicant must also provide proof of residence for the natural beneficiaries of the business
  • Organisational structure of the proposed ADLA indicating the functions and responsibilities of the top management team, including the money laundering reporting officer
  • Pay a collateral deposit, which Exchange Control may prescribe from time to time

When all the application conditions are met, Exchange Control shall request the applicants to pay the requisite fees within 30 days of lodgement of a successful application. The guidelines for fees are as follows:

Type Of FeeUS
Security Deposit Tier 1$10000
Security Deposit Tier 2$7500
New License$450
License Renewal$350
New Branch$300
Branch Renewal$280
Rural Branch$50

After that, you are to invite Exchange Control for a pre-opening inspection before the commencement of operations.

NB: Security Deposit is refunded in the currency in which it was deposited upon surrendering of ADLA licence by the bureau de change (non-interest bearing deposit).

Where all the requirements are successfully met to the satisfaction of the Reserve Bank, the applicant shall be issued a commencement of operation letter and a licence. An ADLA should commence operations within 30 days from the date of the commencement letter. The consent shall be cancelled if the ADLA fails to commence operations within this period.

This was just an overview of the licensing requirements for a money transfer service. For more information, you can always engage the RBZ.

Financial And Human Capital

As you can see from the fees involved, you will need substantial financial capital to start this business. You need a significant amount of funds for your working capital. You will also need funds for operating system purchase or development to source items such as booths and other branding aspects. Human capital depends on the scale from which you want to start. The number of areas you’d like to cover will inform this. Generally, for a money transfer company, you can start small and add on more branches as time goes on.

There are enormous prospects for this line of business in Zimbabwe. You can start one if you are interested. There’s more to talk about creating a money transfer service in Zimbabwe. We will explore that more in future articles, if that’s okay with you.