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Zimbabwe reins in mobile money service providers

By , Zimbabwe correspondent
Zimbabwe , 21 Jul 2020

Mobile money and mobile banking service providers in Zimbabwe have been ordered to connect with the country’s national payment switch, ZimSwitch by no later than 15 August 2020.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has stipulated this as the deadline for the installation or deployment or commissioning of infrastructure and connection.

Last week RBZ announced that ZimSwitch will be the single point of contact for the entire banking sector, including mobile money providers and their overseas clients.

According to regulation officially introduced in March 2020 (S180 of 2020), EcoCash, OneMoney and Telecash will now fall into the ZimSwitch domain and all electronic financial transactions can be made through the payment switch.

The regulation not only sought to enforce bank-type controls on mobile money transfers, but also to create a seamless system of electronic money transfer, regardless of whether this was done by phone, online, by card or in the banks.

RBZ governor John Mangudya said the move was intended to bring mobile money services under control of monetary authorities as set out in the regulations.

The banking sector and its ZimSwitch service have always been under RBZ regulation and the transfer systems were developed to ensure compliance with RBZ rules and regulations.

Local ICT analyst Tsevetana Dhliwayo said: “This tech existed 10 years ago. They need to become more innovative and come up with an actual payment processor similar to Paypal. That is what is needed to compete with EcoCash. This appears like a sound control and accountability of national financial activities. There (are) some individuals who are exorbitantly benefiting from this short-circuiting of the national financial system.”

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