RBZ Statement: Reverse Ban on Mobile Transactions

Harare - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has announced a major climb down on its unpopular decision to ban all mobile money transactions. 

The reversal comes barely 24 hours after the initial announcement. In the meantime, the biggest operator EcoCash had gone to court seeking a reprieve, while they also threatened to shutdown the whole system, bringing chaos int the ailing economy.

In a statement, the RBZ advised payment system providers and agents that the cash-out facility is now capped at $100 per transaction with immediate effect. Existing operational cash in and cash-back limits shall remain.

“The Directive (NPS 01/2019) on cash-in, cash-out and cash-back facilities was issued to protect the transacting public from some mobile banking agents leveraging and abusing the payment ecosystems.
RBZ Reverses Ban on Mobile Transactions 

“Payment systems by their nature play an important role of providing a mechanism or highway to facilitate economic activities in the country. 

“As such, the Reserve Bank continues to promote digital financial services which contribute to financial inclusion and stability. 

“ of that, enhanced monitoring mechanisms have been put in place by both the Reserve Bank and Payment System Providers to mitigate against abuse of payment systems and ensure abusers are brought to book,” reads the statement

The RBZ said it will be injecting cash into the economy without changing money supply with banks exchanging existing RTGS balances for cash thus maintaining the current monetary base.

“Financial institutions and Agents are required to strictly adhere to the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) principles for all their customers at all times and ensure that there is no abuse of the payment systems. 

“Going forward, the Financial Intelligence Unit shall enhance monitoring of financial activities to ensure compliance.”

Meanwhile, observers have castigated the abuse of decrees by the state. “It is said when a man only has a hammer in his hands, every problem looks like a nail. He just hammers everything that he encounters. 

“The Zimbabwean regime’s hammer is the decree. Everything is attacked with decrees. You can’t run an economy with decrees and expect confidence," noted law expert, Dr Alex Magaisa. 

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