20 October 2017

Zimbabwe: Zimswitch to Launch Payment System

Zimswitch says it plans to launch two payment streams simultaneously with other Sadc countries that are expcted to complete their trial runs on a cross-border payment system by July next year .

The company, which has been carrying out tests for its cross-border payment system, said the trials on low value high volume cross-border transactions have largely been successful. Zimswitch is making efforts to move closer to linking local banks to a regional payment platform to facilitate smooth flow of transactions across the Sadc region. Zimswitch general manager Cyril Nyatsanza told businessdigest in emailed responses that currently trials that involve financial institutions, local mobile network operators and the regional clearing house are being carried out on the mobile platform outside Zimbabwe.

"The trials on low value high volume cross-border transactions have largely been successful. Currently trials that involve financial institutions, local mobile network operators and the regional clearing house are being carried out on the mobile platform outside Zimbabwe. The plan is to launch the two payment streams simultaneously with other Sadc countries. The timetable has not been shared by Sadc Bankers Association as yet." he said.

The cross-border payment system will enable Zimbabweans to transact within the region using their bank cards on Zimswitch. At the moment Zimswitch has other platforms for high value transactions.

Nyatsanza said the success of this initiative depends on the participation of other countries.

"The success of this initiative hinges on the participation of other Sadc countries. All things being equal we expect other countries that will make up the critical mass to have run trials for these two payment streams by July next year," he said.

Nyatsanza said although Zimswitch has not yet quantified in terms of figures on possible contribution of the platform to revenue, the main focus has been to ensure that the functionality for cross-border payments has been enabled.

"We know that once funds are transferred into the country this will create other transactions that complement our current business model."

"Sadc Bankers Association will advise on the time lines once testing around the countries is complete." he said.

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