Thanks to a partnership between Steward Bank and MasterCard, 1.5 million of the bank’s customers in Zimbabwe can now receive funds from family and friends abroad directly into their bank accounts without worrying about the risks and costs of cash.
Steward Bank is the first Zimbabwean bank to join HomeSend, a joint venture between MasterCard, eServGlobal and BICS that enables Business-to-Business cross-border and cross-network value transfers through a single connection.
In the next phase, EcoCash, Steward Bank’s sister company, will connect to HomeSend, enabling its four million customers to conveniently and safely receive international remittances into their mobile money wallets. Upon receipt of funds, EcoCash customers will be able to pay bills, pay merchants, send money and cash out.
Given estimates that Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was about US$13.5 billion in 2013, remittances received through formal channels contributed around 13 percent to the country’s GDP.
“By digitizing and formalising remittance payments, we are further contributing to the growth and development of Zimbabwe’s economy. Importantly, we are also contributing to the financial empowerment and inclusion of citizens through the provision of a safe, cost effective and convenient international money transfer channel,” says Charlton Goredema, Vice President and Area Business Head, Southern Africa and Emerging Markets, MasterCard.
For more information, see the full press release.