Strive Masiiwa’s EcoCash Zimbabwe has been dealt a death blow by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) after the central bank designated ZimSwitch as the National Payment Switch. This means that all mobile money transactions will now have to go through ZimSwitch.
Mobile money account holders will now be able to send money from one mobile money service to another without the need to have an account with different mobile money companies.
Sources at tech zim explained why this is very bad news to Ecocash:
The business that is affected by this the most is EcoCash because essentially everyone else is on Zimswitch. The mobile money service 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. For example, nothing stops a NetOne customer from merely sticking to NetOne’s OneMoney and not open an account with EcoCash. From their OneMoney, such a customer will now be able to send money to or receive it from EcoCash.
RBZ FULL 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
9 July 2020