Postal and courier services firm Zimbabwe Post (Zimpost) subsidiary ZipCash, processed transactions worth over $700 000 during the first quarter of this year, a 6,4 percent increase from the previous quarter, official statistics show. The transactions were processed through a branch network of 262 post offices throughout the country.
Launched in 2013, ZipCash is an electronic version of the old money order system and allows Zimbabweans to send cash locally and internationally through any post office.
“The value of electronic transactions processed at these postal outlets through ZipCash was $733 208. This represents a 6,4 percent increase from $689 056 recorded in the previous quarter,” the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe said in its latest industry update.
ZipCash rides on an already existing network developed by the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
The UPU, based in Switzerland, is a specialised agency of the United Nations that was created to co-ordinate postal policies and to organise and improve postal services throughout the world.
Zimpost has said its ZipCash facility is available in countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Kenya, with plans underway to expand the service.
“We have also signed agreements with UAE and Malawi and business will start soon. Growth will continue as more postal administrations join.” Introduction of the money transfer service replaced the old money order system which was slow as it required moving paperwork from one post office to the other.
The money transfer facility was launched as part of efforts by Zimpost to incorporate the use of ICTs in its operations, which were under threat from a growing mobile telecommunications industry, which had seen a decline in its traditional services.
It is also a product of the $3 million computerisation drive that Zimpost is implementing. Zimpost has also said it has plans to take Zipcash to the mobile platform to extend its reach and compete with existing players. Zipcash is also targeted at the diaspora, whose remittances account for at least 25 percent of all foreign exchange in the country.
Official estimates suggest that diaspora remittances to Zimbabwe will increase to $1 billion this year up from about $800 000 last year. — New Ziana.