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The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) yesterday has restored mobile money cash-out payouts, with a new 100 Zimbabwe dollar cap (currently about US$6).
The moves comes as Zimbabwean telecoms company Econet on Tuesday (1 October) filed an urgent application with the High Court to stop the Reserve Bank’s ban.
It follows a Reserve Bank directive on Monday (30 September) in which it effectively banned mobile payment system providers from using the cash-in and cash-out facilities.
RBZ governor JP Mangudya (pictured above) said in a statement yesterday that the bank had issued the directive to protect the public from some mobile banking agents who he said were abusing the payment facilities.
The RBZ has capped mobile money cash-out payouts at 100 Zimbabwe Dollars per transaction
In its directive on Monday, the bank said it had noticed that some agents were buying and selling cash through mobile money agents at rates higher than the approved charges for the cash-in and cash-out facilities.
It added that some agents are not banking cash sales under the guise of cash-back services.
However, in its statement yesterday that payment systems play an important role in facilitating economic activities in the country.
“To this end, payment system providers and agents are hereby advised that the cash-out facility is now capped at $100 per transaction with immediate effect. Related to that, existing operational cash in and cash-back limits shall
remain,” said Mangudya.
Econet challenges ban
Zimbabwe has three active mobile money platforms which are operated by the country’s three mobile network operators. These are Telecel’s Telecash, NetOne’s OneMoney and Econet’s widely-used EcoCash service which has about 10.6-million users.
Econet, through its subsidiary Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, on Tuesday (1 October) filed an urgent application with the High Court to stop the RBZ’s ban.
In its court papers — a copy of which can be read on this Twitter thread — Cassava Smartech said since the EcoCash service was launched in 2011, transactions worth $10.1-billion and 7-billion Zimbabwean dollars had been conducted on the platform.
Editor’s note (4 October 2019): The mobile money cash-out payment limit imposed on 2 October by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is 100 Zimbabwe dollars (and not US dollars), which is currently about US$6.
Featured image: RBZ governor JP Mangudya (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe via Twitter)