“Designation of Zimswitch as a National Payment Switch”. Here’s is what it means

Zimswitch interoperability

There’s been a lot of questions regarding yesterday’s announcement by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe about the “designation of Zimswitch as a national payment switch”.

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

This is more or less a repetition of what we talked about in May when the Statutory Instrument was issued except that the RBZ has now given a deadline that banks have to beat.

What does it all mean

Well, this simply means that all platforms which facilitate transactions should now be connected to Zimswitch so as to achieve interoperability.

Interoperability will allow EcoCash, Telecash, MyCash, ZIPIT, OneMoney and users of other platforms to be able to send money to each other without a hussle. For instance, an EcoCash user will be able to send or receive money from a ZIPIT user or a Telecash user will be to send or receive money from a OneMoney user.

This functionality is what people and the regulator have been urging mobile money players to come up with but they failed. So the government ended up devising a law (Statutory Instrument 80 of 2020) which is instructing them to integrate with the Zimswitch platform by the 15th of August.

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