ZIMBABWE: Mobile Money Agents Vex The Reserve Bank

Africa Moyo, Harare Bureau

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is battling to resolve the issue of depositors being ripped off by mobile money transfer agents when cashing out.

This emerged yesterday during a consumer and community engagement outreach programme organised by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), which also featured the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ).

RBZ head oversight and risk management (National Payment Systems financial market) Mr Douglas Muranda said: “The issue of high (cash out) charges is giving us headaches too. 

“It’s illegal and it’s not allowed.”

Mr Muranda said they were working “flat out” to ensure the menace is addressed.

“We hope the situation would be addressed soon, but we are grappling with it.

“It’s an illegal practice and people can report businesses that put a percentage on cash out transactions to the RBZ department called Financial Intelligence Unit.

“You can also report to Ecocash, Telecash and OneMoney,” he said.

The remarks by the RBZ come at a time when citizens are being robbed of their hard-earned cash by mobile money transfer agents who are demanding up to 40 percent of the amount one would be cashing out.

Shortages of physical cash in banks, following the practice of hoarding cash by illegal street currency dealers, has exposed people the unscrupulous dealers.

While Ecocash has instructed subscribers who are forced to pay a premium for cashout transactions to report agents ripping them off, not many are keen to do that.

The consumer and community engagement outreach program held in Binga was a first if its kind, which falls within the International Telecommunications Union standards and recommendations where collaboration of regulators is encouraged.

SOURCE: chronicle