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Bankers call for Zim mobile money regulation

By , Journalist
Zimbabwe , 21 Oct 2015

Bankers call for Zim mobile money regulation

For all its successes in the mobile money sector, Zimbabwe does not have regulatory frameworks for restitution of users should any of the mobile money platforms collapse, the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) said Tuesday.

The southern African country's three mobile companies – Telecel Zimbabwe, Econet Wireless and state owned NetOne – all have mobile money platforms. Additionally, some banks in the country are also running mobile money offerings.

Government statistics show that the value of transactions in the Zimbabwean mobile money industry declined by nearly 8% to $406.9 million in the first quarter for the current year. The telecom companies have broadened their platforms to include cross border remittances, bill payments among other uses.

However, there are worries that the mobile money platforms pose a risk to subscribers in the event that they collapse because there are no regulatory frameworks to protect users.

Depositors with banks get restitution from the Deposit Protection Board in the event of bank failures, which administers a fund into which banks contribute.

"There should be subsidiary legislation to govern mobile banking. Currently mobile banking is based on a contractual agreement between the bank and the service provider and there is no law that oversees it in the banking area," Aisha Tsimba, the legal chairperson for the Bankers Association in Zimbabwe told parliament this week.

There is growing concern over the security of depositors' funds amid fraud cases that plague platforms.

Legislators in Zimbabwe and other stakeholders want the government to tighten regulation loopholes for mobile money within banking industry regulatory amendments that are currently before parliament for review.

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