CABS, one of the 6 local financial institutions that have been piloting the Zimswitch Vpayments online payments platform, is now rolling out the service to merchants after getting approval from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). A report in the Zimbabwe Independent today confirms that local internet provider Dandemutande, which piloted the service with CABS for about 18 months, has started selling its uMAX internet bundles online using Vpayments. CABS is the first local financial institution to go live with the platform.
Vpayments will enable retailers to offer their goods and services to their customers through website shopping carts rather than the traditional brick-and-mortar stores. When we interviewed CABS MD, Kevin Terry recently, he confirmed that they had received regulatory approval to go live.
Vpayments was developed over the past few years as part of the Zimswitch Shared Services platform, an integrated system for payments via mobile, the internet, Point of Sale devices, and traditional branch based banking.
A CABS spokesperson we spoke to today told us there are already signing on merchants, starting with local retailers from whom they are apparently “expecting a very positive response.” It’s not clear yet how ready they are to accept tech startup companies that typically don’t have any physical shop presence and whose potential traction is not clear.
Our experience with the launch of such technical products is that in the early days, unless trained exhaustively already to respond accurately and help clients that have varying technical needs, most staff of the bank will not be clear how to assist new customers.
So yes, Mr. tech-startup-founder-working-on-Zimbabwe’s-Amazon, we don’t recommend showing up at a random CABS branch and bombarding their information desk with demands for Vpayments. The CABS spokesperson we spoke to offered that interested ‘retailers’ should contact the CABS POS Team on +263 4 883823 – 60, or email them on help.pos [at] cabs.co.zw