Monday, September 30, 2019

RBZ blocks the only payment system used by the general ZImbabwean

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Zimbabwe’s central bank has clamped down on mobile money, banning the purchase and sale of cash through the services, in the latest directive aimed at gaining control of a monetary system that’s spiraling out of control.
The directive, which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said was necessary because of commissions charged by agents, follows a 28 September announcement enforcing the use of the Zimbabwe dollar and banning the quoting of prices in foreign currency.
Ecocash, a mobile-money service operated by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, has 6.7 million active users in a nation of about 14 million people. It’s the first time since its introduction in 2011 that its users haven’t been able to use the so-called cash-back service.
Since the Zimbabwe dollar was reintroduced in June its value has plunged to Z$15.19 to the US dollar from an initial rate of Z$2.50. 
*Here’s the full RBZ directive:*
1. It has come to the attention of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that some economic agents are engaging in illegal activities abusing the cash-in, cash-out and cash-back facilities thereby compromising the public interest objectives of national payment systems in the economy.
2. Notable activities include the buying and selling of cash through mobile money agents at high rates above the approved charges for cash-in and cash-out with some economic agents not banking cash sales under the disguise of cash-back services.
3. The charging of commissions outside the approved framework adversely affects the smooth operation of payment systems and have the negative effect of distorting pricing of goods and services.
4. In view of the above, all mobile payment system providers and merchants are hereby directed to discontinue cash-in and cash-out with immediate effect.
5. Furthermore, all economic agents are, with immediate effect. directed to discontinue cash-back facilities.
6. Banks, mobile payment system providers and other economic agents are reminded of the need to ensure that the entire ecosystem operate within the confines of law and enforce compliance.
7. Please be guided accordingly.