Mobile Money - A Catalyst for Financial Inclusion in Developing Economies: A Case Study of Zimbabwe using FinScope Survey Data

Mobile money in Zimbabwe has extensively extended the frontiers of financial inclusion to reach millions who were earlier excluded within a relatively short space of time. The growing use of mobile phones in transferring money and making payments has significantly altered the countrys financial inclusion landscape as millions who had been hitherto excluded can now perform financial transactions in a relatively cheap, reliable and secure way. The FinScope results found out that 45% of the adult population use mobile money services. Of those using mobile money, 65% mentioned that is convenient, while 36% mentioned that it is cheap. Mobile money is accessible. These drivers are in the backdrop of few or no bank branches in rural communities as well as time and cost of accessing the bank branches. In Zimbabwe, mobile money is mostly used as a vehicle for remittances. While some people are enjoying mobile money services, it is important to mention that there are still people who are excluded from the formal financial system. The reasons why people do not use mobile money are mainly related to poverty issues. Mobile money remains a viable option to push the landscape of financial inclusion in Zimbabwe and other emerging markets where the formal financial system might not be strong.