In a shock move, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has reportedly banned the use of some Ecocash services with immediate effect.
Mobile money agents to have been told to stop providing Cash-in, cash-out and cash-back services. It seems that the move has been taken to stop ‘illegal activities’ being done through the system.
The full text of the circulating statement reads;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Furthermore, all economic agents are, with immediate effect. directed to discontinue cash-back facilities.
- 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.
- Please be guided accordingly.
J. Mutepfa (Mr.) DEPUTY DIRECTOR FINANCIAL MARKETS, NATIONAL PAYMENT SYSTEMS 30 September 2019
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