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Agent Banking in Zimbabwe

6newsZimbabwe’s Econet Wireless, in association with its banking unit Steward Bank, has launched Agent Banking, which is aimed at empowering mobile money agents to offer banking services to the unbanked population. Bank accounts on the EcoCash mobile money platform, run by Econet Wireless, have increased to 1.1million. The platform now has about 3.5 million registered users while the Econet network now carries 9 million subscribers. Of the 3.5 million EcoCash mobile wallet subscribers, 1.1 million now have bank EcoCash Save savings accounts held in conjunction with Steward Bank.The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has provided regulatory support for this move. Kwanele Ngwenya, CEO, Steward Bank, said the usage of mobile money agents to offer banking services will help reach out to a bigger portion of the unbanked populace in Zimbabwe. Under the arrangement, selected agents will be equipped with high-tech equipment which will enable them to connect to Steward Bank’s servers using VPN or other data connections to facilitate real time banking transactions.

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