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EcoCash to become just a wallet, RBZ says everyone must connect to ZIMSWITCH

John Mangudya

So this happened:

PRESS STATEMENT

DESIGNATION OF ZIMSWITCH TECHNOLOGIES (PRIVATE) LIMITED (ZIMSWITCH) AS A NATIONAL PAYMENT SWITCH

In accordance with the provisions of the National Payment Systems Act [Chapter 24:23] and the Banking (Money Transmission, Mobile Banking, and Mobile Money Interoperability) Regulations, Statutory Instrument 80 of 2020 (the Regulations), the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank) wishes to advise the public that it has designated Zimswitch as a national payment switch with immediate effect.

All mobile money transmission providers and mobile banking providers are hereby directed to be connected to Zimswitch as provided for by section 4 of the Regulations. To ensure seamless integration, all money transmission providers and mobile money providers must complete the necessary Installation or deployment or commissioning of Infrastructure and connection protocols, credentials, and documentation for connection to Zimswitch by no later than 15 August 2020.

John P Mangudya Governor 9 July 2020

The threat has come it seems

There has been talking of having one national switch for all transactions for a very long time. Such conversations started intensifying last year and it looks like the central bank has taken a definitive position. The business that is affected by this the most is EcoCash because essentially everyone else is on Zimswitch.

EcoCash is a platform in itself with its own ecosystem that banks connect to on EcoCash’s terms. Designating Zimswitch as the primitive platform that everyone else must connect to takes away incredible chunks of EcoCash’s market power.

We will look at this more closely as we get more details.

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