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Central Bank imposes mobile money tax after bitter dispute

Central Bank imposes mobile money tax after bitter dispute

Zimbabwe has begun imposing a mobile money tax on transactions after intense lobbying

A phone with money coming out

Zimbabwe has begun imposing a tax on mobile money transactions after intense lobbying from the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ)

from the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) for the Zimbabwean central bank to regulate mobile money services “to create a level playing field” in the financial services sector.

The banks had been involved in a bitter dispute with Econet Wireless, the country’s biggest telecoms firm, over its alleged refusal to open up its EcoCash mobile money platform for integration with the banking system in Zimbabwe.

The government has subsequently moved in to regulate mobile money transactions, effectively imposing a 5 cents tax levy on transactions carried out using mobile money platforms.

Econet’s EcoCash, with 3 million subscribers, is the biggest mobile money platform in Zimbabwe.”We advise that a transaction tax of 5 cents will be levied on applicable transactions… in line with government tax policy,” Econet Wireless said in a statement sent to EcoCash users last week.

Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said in his 2014 budget presentation on December 19 that “the emergence of mobile technology has opened doors to innovative technology which facilitates transfer of funds through mobile phones”.

He however argued for the regulation of mobile money platforms and services, saying transactions done through such platforms had to conform to the same tax regime applicable for Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) transactions.

“Notwithstanding the positive impact of mobile banking services on the welfare of the then financially excluded members of our society, this product should, however, conform to the tax principle of fairness, hence, the current tax on similar products such as ATM and PoS should apply,” Chinamasa said.

The post Central Bank imposes mobile money tax after bitter dispute appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.

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