Cash shortages spur Cassava growth

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Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe (Cassava) says it recorded a 19 percent increase in mobile transactions for the nine months ended November 30, 2019 due to prevailing cash shortages.

This comes as the country’s mobile money transactions grew 91 percent to $11 888 760 224, in the third quarter last year, according to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

The current cash crunch prevailing in the country has made mobile money an important channel for transacting in the country.

Cassava, which operates Zimbabwe’s largest Mobile Money platform, EcoCash, with around 90 percent market share, said it will continue to leverage on a robust business model to create value despite the deteriorating macro-economic environment.

“The group has continued to innovate and invest further in its technology platforms in order to provide our customers with relevant products and services whilst improving access and convenience,” the company said, adding that its number of active customers increased by 17 percent in the same period.

In the period under review, Steward Bank grew its customer base by 75 percent. However, the bank recorded a decline in transactions on its Point of Sale terminals by an average of 46 percent, a trend which is commensurate with declining volumes in the retail sector as consumer disposable incomes fail to keep up with inflation.

The company’s insurtech business, covering micro-insurance solutions funeral cover Ecosure, also recorded a 17 percent growth attributable to life policies in the period under review.

“The business recorded significant growth in our short-term insurance business which grew by 5 050 percent compared to the same period the previous year.

“The EcoSure and Moovah businesses have managed to maintain their claims ratios at a level lower than the industry average,” Cassava said.

The listed financial technology firm said it will continue to focus on identifying and developing opportunities in the market that are consistent with the changing customer demands paying close attention to the challenging operating environment.

“The unique synergies inherent in the group’s businesses have given us an opportunity to bundle products and leverage on shared services to effectively launch and scale new services,” Cassava added.

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