By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS (NADN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe authorized mobile money corporations to stave off the registration of multiple individual wallets, that are being utilized as a chutes for escaping regulatory agreement limits by illegal money dealers in its latest mid term monetary policy statement released August 21st, 2020 noted Dr. John Mangudya. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recorded the drawbacks in the operations of the mobile payment operators, namely: Ecocash, OneMoney, Telecash and Mycash in its forensic audit ushering to a raft of solutions.
On June 27th, 2020, the RBZ annulled and froze dealer and bulk-payer wallets to reduce the rapid spiraling of the exchange rate on the black market but since then, illicit money traders have been using multiple wallets to bypass transaction limits.
“Mobile money operators shall, with immediate effect, close all multiple wallets, and allow just one wallet per individual,” Mangudya clarified.
On this note, the Bank is blaming mobile money operator staffers of conspiring with consumers to hamper or illegally bypass account freeze orders, failing to remit statutory taxes and abusing agent, super-agent and bulk payment wallets for goals of trading on the foreign exchange resembling market. Same, mobile money firms have also been criticized for neglecting to embrace to Know-Your-Customer principles, characterized by, among other issues, creation of mobile money accounts using made-up and unverified identification particulars.
Thus, the Central bank have also ordered mobile money corporations to rescind the Agent’s mobile money wallets which it contends no longer fulfill rightful motive and were now being used mainly for illegal foreign exchange transactions. Bulk payment wallets will now be approved by regulatory authorities for limited use, primarily for low value transactions and humanitarian funds disbursements to vulnerable members of society.
“Mobile payment operators have been turning a blind eye and have even actively encouraged the abuse of bulk payment wallets for illegal foreign currency transactions, thus earning lucrative transaction fees in the process,” the RBZ announced.
RBZ reported extensive production of money on the platforms (overdrafts and fraudulent / fictitious credits) not backed by balances in the Mobile Money Trust accounts.
In May, the RBZ characterized the country’s biggest mobile money operator, Ecocash as a Ponzi scheme, alleging the company agents had an overdraft on their accounts in excess of ZWL$ 39 million which was being used to buy foreign currency on the similar market.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent