from WELLINGTON TONI in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – ZIMBABWE’S central bank has designated Zimswitch as the country’s sole national payments system, with the aiming of eradicating a thriving illegal market for money.
The designation by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) promotes Zimswitch to the national electronic funds and clearing house.
“It (Zimswitch) has the sole mandate of processing domestic electronic transactions among participants online and in real time,” RBZ stated.
The move is meant to plug the loopholes in the parallel black market where the rate of the US$ to the bond is US$1 to 100, on Ecocash rates.
The official figure between the US currency and the reviled bond remains $1 to 86 on the auction system.
RBZ is confident Zimswitch will address the disparities.
“ZimSwitch relies on its ability to continuously invest in modern payment technology systems and infrastructure to support increasing transacting volumes and other new service offerings,” it further said.
ZimSwitch services over 100 000 point of sale machines.
It said it is collaborating with both regional and global payment brands to mordenise the local payments landscape.
ZimSwitch was established in 1984 through a partnership of six financial institutions.
These are the Barclay’s Bank (now First Capital Bank), Beverly Building Society, now part of CBZ, Central African Building Society (CABS), Founders (now ZB Bank), Stanbic and Zimbank.
At the end of June, Zimbabwe banned mobile money platforms as the country’s local currency continues to lose value.
Subscribers and users were left stranded in a country battling shortages of cash.
Zimbabwe ditched its once-treasured dollar in 2009 after record hyperinflation.
– CAJ News