Zimbabwe bans “mobile” cash transactions

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Ndaka Majaka

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has banned cash transactions through mobile money transfer agents following widespread abuse of the facility.

Receiving cash at points-of-sale, commonly referred to as “cash-back”, has also been outlawed.

A good number of Zimbabweans have been using the two avenues to receive money in the wake of the country’s continued cash shortages.

The latest measures, however, leave banks and bureaux de change as the prime sources of cash.

In a statement on Monday, RBZ Deputy Director (Financial Markets and National Payment Systems) Josephat Mutepfa said, “… All mobile payment system providers and merchants are hereby directed to discontinue cash-in and cash-out transactions with immediate effect.

“Furthermore, all economic agents are, with immediate effect, directed to discontinue cash-back facilities.”

Mr Mutepfa said mobile money transfer agents were selling cash at outrageously high rates, and not banking.

It is believed the agents were also increasingly becoming conduits of foreign currency parallel market transactions.