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Zimbabwe has two Fintechs ready to sandbox as country delves deeper into CBDC

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Zimbabwe , 17 Aug 2022

Zimbabwe has confirmed approval of capital raising solutions provider Lloyd Crowd Funding, and money transfer service Uhuru Innovative Solutions to its Fintech regulatory sandbox. This as the country prepares to publish a public consultation paper focused on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) - which has continued to ban banks from processing crypto currency payments - announced its intention to explore a CBDC.

Zimbabwe is seeking to build on the experiences of Nigeria, the first African country to launch a CBDC, and has also noted intention by Ghana and Kenya to do the same.

Financial authorities say they have “conducted study tours to countries that are advanced in CBDC endeavours and has developed a roadmap for adoption of CBDC” in the country.

In the RBZs mid-term monetary policy statement tabled this week, Governor, John Mangudya stated: “The role of stakeholders in the CBDC journey is paramount and in that regard the Bank has developed a public consultation paper on CBDC to be released soon.

The consultation paper is aimed at “fostering a broad and transparent public dialogue regarding the potential benefits and risks of CBDC,” with the document set to be availed to the public for comments and input for a period of 90 days from the date of release.

Findings of both the consultation paper and consumer survey will enable the Bank to engage in pilot programmes related to CBDC.

Mangudya said, “Llyod Crowd Funding has commenced its Sandbox operations and will test for a period of 12 months up to May 2023 while Uhuru Innovative Solutions will soon commence regulatory testing.”

RBZ said registrations on the Fintech regulatory sandbox are mainly from the technology sector.

Currently, “applications to carryout sandbox testing are largely focused on financial inclusion products, retail payments and equity crowd funding which account for more than half of sandbox” applications.

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