Mobile Cash Transfer Rates Rapped

Harare, March 14, 2014 – The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has urged parliamentarians to come up with a policy that compels mobile money transfers to transact through all financial institutions to reduce the rates prevailing on the market.

The call for a proper policy that governs mobile money transfers was made during oral evidence presentation by BAZ to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Gokwe North legislator, Justice Mayor Wadyajena.

Legislators quizzed BAZ on the implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act with  George Guvamatanga (BAZ president) saying his association has no problems in the implementation of the act as all financial institutions have submitted their plans for consideration.

Guvamatanga said while his organisation is preferring the empowerment part, there is need for legislators to come up with a proper policy to compel mobile money transfers to be done through all financial institutions as the current rates are very high.

“I sent US$200 with mobile money transfer but the person received US$185, this is very high and there is need of a policy that ensures the monopolistic nature of some of the players is dealt with as they would operate through financial institutions,” said Guvamatanga.

Chairman of the portfolio committee, Wadyajena questioned the BAZ’s level of compliance of its members with the laws of the country.

“How many banks have complied with the laws of the land since the introduction of indigenisation and economic empowerment?  Guvamatanga….we have 21 banks and out of that we have 5 five foreign banks with the remainder being the indigenous ones,”  Wadyajena asked.

The financial services sector has been under the spotlight for the past three years owing to high interest rates which have deterred companies from borrowing with some ending up closing operations.

The coming on board of mobile money transfer was expected to compliment efforts of the financial services sector.

However, it appears that some companies are not willing to go into partnership with banks resulting in a monopoly and the high charges when sending or receiving money.