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EcoCash mobilises bureau de change service

EcoCash mobilises bureau de change services

Zimbabwe mobile financial services platform, EcoCash has launched a bureau de change service in Harare.

The exchange rate for USD versus Zimdollar on the EcoCash bureau de change opened at 1:10.8. The rate compares with parallel market exchange rates that officials have previously blamed for pricing distortions.

The company stated: "The platform allows you to convert funds in (your mobile wallet) Foreign Currency Account (FCA) to RTGS (Zimdollar). The funds are credited into your FCA by means of either cashing in at our Econet shops or when you have received funds from our remittance partners."

The EcoCash platform has a foreign currency account option into which wallet holders can deposit funds from remittances as per partnerships established with money transfer companies or through direct deposit of foreign currency into mobile wallets.

Following enquiries from users as to whether it is possible to purchase forex from the bureau de change, the company explained that the service is "one way allowing you to convert funds from your USD to Zimdollar."

In June Zimbabwe banned use of foreign currencies for settlement of transactions.

Natalie Jabangwe, chief executive officer for EcoCash said: "This is a game changer. We have come up with a mobile wallet centric bureau de change. We are offering in real time bureau de change on your cellphone."

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe supports innovation within the bureau de change financial services sector.

Obvious Runesu, deputy director for exchange control at the Zimbabwean central bank, said 46 bureau de change outlets have been licensed in line with efforts to strengthen the interbank market which is working on a floated exchange rate basis.

"The bureau de change market should continue being innovative and tap into this market to be able to harness freely flowing cash from our diaspora," said Runesu.

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