The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has banned the buying and selling of cash using the country’s mobile money services, stating the system was being abused.
In a directive letter, Zimbabwe’s central bank said the clampdown was necessary due to high commission rates being charged by agents. It noted fees were outside of the legal framework and added there were fears some agents had been impersonating cashback services.
The ban went into immediate effect yesterday (30 September). It follows the relaunched Zimbabwean dollar on 24 June and outlawing of using foreign currencies.
Zimbabwe payment company Ecocash launched Smart Change Money, a service allowing users to transfer funds held in US dollars to local currency through mobile wallet accounts two months ago.
Zimbabwe used the US dollar and South African rand for over a decade as legal tender when hyperinflation decimated the value of the Zimbabwean dollar.
Josephat Mutepfa, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe deputy director of financial markets and national payment systems, wrote in the directive: “Banks, mobile payment system providers and other economic agents are reminded of the need to ensure that they entire ecosystem operate within the confines of law and enforce compliance.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back