RBZ Bans All Agent Lines Permanently
Mobile money agents are now officially a thing of the past after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) banned all agent lines permanently. This means that EcoCash, OneMoney, and Telecash agent lines are no longer operational. This was announced by the central bank during today’s Monetary Policy Statement.
The RBZ abolished the agent lines with immediate effect arguing that they no longer serve any purpose. They also alleged that the agent lines were being used for illicit financial transactions, primarily illegal foreign currency exchange transactions.
An excerpt from the Monetary Policy Statement reads,
Agent wallets are no longer serving any legitimate purpose and were now being used primarily for illegal foreign exchange transactions. Agents’ mobile money wallets are therefore abolished, with immediate effect.
The monetary policy statement went on to state that all the agents who had their money frozen when the RBZ suspended all agent lines, will be allowed to move the money to their bank accounts. However, there is a caveat. The agents will only be able to reclaim their money once they have managed to satisfy the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that the funds have been legitimately earned. The monetary policy statement goes on to say,
Agents currently holding value in suspended and frozen wallets shall be allowed to liquidate the funds to their bank accounts, upon the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) having satisfied itself of the legitimacy of the source
The central bank further explained that bulk payment services were being abused in that past and that going forward they are going to be regulated closely.
Mobile money wallets have been barred from processing bulk payment transactions such as salaries and wages. Instead, these will be done through banks. Bulk payments will now be limited to low-value transactions and the disbursement of funds to poor and vulnerable members of society from humanitarian organizations – However, these will need to be approved by the central bank first.
Another excerpt from the Monetary Policy Statement reads,
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.
Going forward, bulk payment wallets will be approved by regulatory authorities for limited use, primarily for low-value transactions and humanitarian funds disbursements to vulnerable members of society.
Any other bulk payment transactions, such as payment of salaries and wages, should be processed through normal banking channels.
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The post RIP EcoCash Agents: RBZ Bans All Agent Lines Permanently appeared first on iHarare News.