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'Zimbabwe at the forefront of mobile revolution'

'Zimbabwe at the forefront of mobile revolution'.

Consumers in Zimbabwe have adapted quickly to the world of mobile innovation and, while there are more SIM cards in the Southern African country than there are people, users are leveraging the connectivity to the maximum - particularly in terms of mobile payment.

This is according to global mobile money services provider WorldRemit which suggests that 78% of adults have sent money with their phone, 67% have received money on their phone and more than 5 million Zimbabweans have a mobile money account.

Alix Murphy, Senior Mobile Analyst at WorldRemit, said: "Our Zimbabwean customers are at the forefront of the mobile revolution. More than 70 per cent of them already send money to EcoCash's mobile wallet, and around 40 per cent of them already use the WorldRemit app to make a transfer."

Murphy confirmed Zimbabweans in the diaspora have been among the fastest adopters of new iOS and Android money transfer apps: "While everyone looks to Kenya as the leader in mobile money transfers, in fact, when it comes to sending money from mobiles, Zimbabweans have been almost twice as eager to use an app to make a transfer."

According to WorldRemit it is no surprise that for many of those who left Zimbabwe, keeping in touch with close ones at home has become ever-more important. The volume of international phone calls into Zimbabwe grew by 10% in Q3 of last year.

"Estimates suggest that Zimbabweans in the diaspora racked up 60 million minutes, or 1 million hours, of international phone calls to friends and family at home in 2014. Not to mention all the millions of minutes racked up on Skype, Viber, or other VOIP services," the company has stated.

The same goes for receiving money from abroad.

Murphy suggests that Zimbabweans make up one of the largest and most vibrant diaspora communities in the world.

"More than three million Zimbabweans live outside their home country; many of them are in the United Kingdom and in South Africa. And they are already sending money directly to mobile wallets at home, instead of the more traditional cash-pick up options," she adds.

Mobile wallets, such as EcoCash, are increasingly offering add-on services for m-insurance, bill payment, or m-commerce, especially through their mobile apps. Remittance services play a key role in connecting the Zimbabwean diaspora with the Mobile Money ecosystem at home, WorlRemit claims.

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