Zimbabwe mobile payment platform sets cash transaction ceiling, in line with cbank directive

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Mobile money platform EcoCash has complied with a directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) limiting daily transactions to a maximum 5,000 Zimbabwe dollars (ZWL, about 60 U.S. dollars), as the central bank presses ahead with efforts to kill the foreign exchange black market.

The directive is contained in the central bank’s mid-term monetary policy announced by governor John Mangudya recently.

EcoCash has been accused by the RBZ of being at the center of black market activities as illegal foreign exchange dealers used it in their transactions.

Transactions limited to 5,000 ZWL relate to payments to merchants for goods and services and payments for utility bills; sending money and purchasing of airtime and data; EcoCash debit card and wallet to bank transfers.

Merchants and bills will continue to accept EcoCash payments from customers but will be required to liquidate the funds in their wallets to their bank accounts only.

Agents’ mobile money wallets have also been abolished with immediate effect and funds in frozen agent lines will be liquidated into the agents’ bank accounts with RBZ approval.

Bulk payers have also been affected by the RBZ directive, which limits their scope of operation.

“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe shall only approve the use of bulk payer lines for the purposes of disbursing low-value payments, such as disbursements for humanitarian aid (and) payments related to agricultural activities,” a statement from EcoCash to customers said Wednesday.

The central bank also directed that with immediate effect, no individual shall be allowed to operate more than one EcoCash line.

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