Desperate Zimbabweans Use Cell Phone Transfers to Get Cash

Monday, August 26, 2019

By Farai Mutsaka

After protests brought Zimbabwe’s capital to a standstill earlier this month, Harare has returned to its normal bustle and Tedius Marara is back to his daily business: selling cash at a busy market.

With inflation soaring and cash in short supply, many Zimbabweans transfer funds using their mobile phones and pay a premium to get currency. Marara is one of many cash vendors doing a roaring trade.

People huddle around his wooden stall, one eye on their mobile phone screens and another on a small counter brimming with coins.

“These are my banks nowadays,” said Mishy Tshuma, a customer referring to her mobile phone and the makeshift stall. To get cash, she has to pay Marara on a transfer by her phone and pay a hefty premium.

And in a country where cash is king, she has little choice but to pay the extra amount.

Photo courtesy of

Source: AP News (link opens in a new window)

digital finance, digital payments, financial inclusion, fintech