Cassava Smartech’s revenue takes a knock
Diversified Fintech giant, Cassava SmarTech - trading as EcoCash Holdings - revenue for the year to end Feb 28, 2021 tumbled by 26% to ZW$$8.6-billion compared to ZW$14.5-billion recorded in the previous year, weighed down by central bank of Zimbabwe directives on mobile money agents and transactional limits.
The listed Group’s business assets includes: mobile money service, digital banking, payment services, international remittances, insurance, agritech, edtech, waste-management, riding-hailing, logistics and e-commerce.
In a statement, Group chairperson, Sherree Shereni attributed the drop in revenue to the firm’s diversification strategy that materialised in growth within the Insurtech and VAYA Technologies businesses.
The company’s Fintech business unit generates about 80% of the total group revenue, mostly from mobile money services.
The services unit continues on a steady growth trajectory, despite pressure exerted from the country’s Reserve Bank.
Independent economist, Persistence Gwanyaya said the drop revenue was caused by the suspension of EcoCash lines last year after being linked to illegal financial transactions.
The Zimbabwe central bank said the measures to suspend the agent lines were necessitated by the need to protect consumers on mobile money services platforms which have been “abused by unscrupulous and unpatriotic individuals and entities to create instability on the exchange rate and inconvenience in the economy.”
Local economist, Titus Makove said, “EcoCash holding was also negatively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and the ZW$100-m in penalties by the authorities weighed on its revenue.”