The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has ordered mobile money operators to connect to Zimswitch Technologies (Zimswitch), a step closer to interoperability in the mobile money sector.
Years ago, there were clashes between Ecocash, Zimbabwe’s largest mobile money operator by subscriber base over mobile money.
All mobile money providers including Ecocash, One Money and Telecash will be forced by law to be on the Zimswitch grid following it being made a national payment switch.
“In accordance with the provisions of the National Payment Systems Act [Chapter 24:23] and the Banking (Money Transmission, Mobile Banking and Mobile Money Interoperability) Regulations, Statutory Instrument 80 of 2020 (the Regulations), the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank) wishes to advise the public that it has designated Zimswitch as a national payment switch with immediate effect,” said RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya.
The Apex Bank boss noted that all mobile money service providers should be linked to Zimswitch.
“All mobile money transmission providers and mobile banking providers are hereby directed to be connected to Zimswitch as provided for by section 4 of the Regulations,” he said. “To ensure seamless integration, all money transmission providers and mobile money providers must complete the necessary installation or deployment or commissioning of infrastructure and connection protocols, credentials and documentation for connection to Zimswitch by no later than 15 August 2020.”
The move is a bitter pill to swallow for Ecocash now a Cassava Fintech unit since it was not in good books with Zimswitch.
“On the other hand given Ecocash occassional glitches which inconvenience clients, a burden might have been lifted,” said an expert who requested anonymity.
Another expert claims, “RBZ has designated Zimswitch as a monopoly switch for all monetary transactions in Zimbabwe.”