The SIVIO Institute published a Financial Inclusion report on Micro, Small and Medium enterprises in Zimbabwe. In that report, it revealed that 30% of MSMEs say they have used the ZimSwitch bank account-based mobile money solution ZIPIT Smart.
If the name isn’t familiar, ZIPIT Smart was birthed just after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) Interoperability Directive which saw EcoCash being brought into the same transaction pool as all the banks and mobile money operators.
The solution was marketed as an alternative to EcoCash because it was not nearly as restricted as conventional mobile money operators. It was able to skirt the transactional limits because it would be pulling funds directly from your bank account. The solution also did away with having to remember or type out a merchant’s bank account number because they would get a merchant code similar to the ones EcoCash gave its merchant.
There is a caveat though… If you want to initiate a ZIPIT Smart transaction you will need to go through your bank’s USSD code. This is, however, provided that your bank has signed up for the service. At the time of writing, FBC, Metbank, BancABC, Agribank, POSB, NMB, CABS, and Steward Bank have signed up to allow their customers to use ZIPIT Smart.
How a ZIPIT Smart transaction would go if you are an FBC Customer
- Dial *220# enter your pin
- Select banking services
- Enter 4 digital pin
- Select Merchant payment option 6
- Choose option 1 which is Zipit smart
- Select card or account
- Enter merchant code
- Enter amount
- Press 1 to confirm the transaction
But if your bank is on-board then you can transact with a merchant provided they have a ZIPIT Smart code that you can complete that transaction with.
Surprised that Zimswitch’s project is doing so well
I was honestly expecting a number that is lower than 30% because I have not seen too many merchants with a ZIPIT Smart merchant code. Added to that there is no readily available information about ZIPIT Smart’s transactions volumes, values or the number of merchants signed up.
However, it is encouraging to see that the ZimSwitch product is getting traction, it’s good for the market.