THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has given electronic funds switch company, ZimSwitch, the nod to roll-out internet-based payments for banked customers.
The roll-out of Vpayments will offer e-commerce payments entryway that permits all ZimSwitch-member financial institutions to offer their banked customers the ease of safe internet focussed payments, as well as their merchants the capability to sell goods and services online.
Earlier this year, CBZ, CABS, FBC, POSB and Trust Bank participated in the pilot.
All other financial institutions on the ZimSwitch platform will also be incorporated.
ZimSwitch business development manager, Adam Roscoe said the company was last week granted approval for Vpayments by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe after a successful pilot project.
"We have been amazed by the number of merchants enquiring and registering. I think perhaps the reason is the same as it was for the rest of the world when e-commerce was first introduced. "E-commerce has fractional costs as compared to traditional brick and mortar retail," said Roscoe, adding that many more Zimbabwean business men and women could participate with minimal funding.
He said that customers would enjoy a secure online shopping experience, as hundreds of new merchant sites are integrating while a comprehensive Vpayments shopping environment would be completed by year end.
A number of people in the country have already taken to mobile money transactions as technology continues to penetrate the financial services sector.
Estimates indicate that there are approximately four million people in Zimbabwe with access to the internet and two million with active bank accounts.
Roscoe said clients would be able to complete most of their banking services wherever they see the "ZimSwitch Ready Bank Anywhere" sign.
However, with the advent of information communication technology, there are many hackers who search for opportunities on e-commerce sites, and associated payment gateways, all of which have always been prone to attack.
"We have a collection of security measures in place. I cannot discuss them publicly, but as part of our RBZ approval, we had to undergo a comprehensive external audit by IT security specialists from an international auditing firm. All of our infrastructures adhere to banking best practices," he said.
He dismissed assertions that Zimbabwe's e-commerce revolution was being stalled by the high costs and poor accessibility issues related to the internet.