Breaking: Reserve Bank issues directive on mobile money agents. Telecash wins

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Mobile-Financial-Services-Director,-Nkosinathi-Ncube

We have just received the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s official position on the mobile money agents war that was playing out between EcoCash and Telecash. The issue started after Telecel claimed that Econet was blocking them from accessing mobile money agents registered to rival mobile money provider EcoCash. Telecel then lodged an official complaint with POTRAZ who in turn directed them to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as the relevant authority on mobile money issues.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has finally reached a position on the matter and the National Payments System department of the Reserve Bank has issued a directive on the matter. The directive favors Telecash and effectively barres any operator from entering into exclusive agreements with agents.

Operators can however apply to the Reserve Bank to have exclusive agreement with certain agents but that’s unlikely to work out as well for any of the operators.

Below is the full directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe or you can alternatively download it here.

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RE: DIRECTIVE ISSUED IN TERMS OF SECTION 10 OF THE NATIONAL PAYMENT SYSTEMS ACT [CHAP: 24:23] ON EXCLUSIVE AGENT AGREEMENTS
1. It has come to the attention of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that some mobile payment system operators are entering into agreements with agents in terms of which the agent is precluded from acting for any other mobile payment system operator.
2. The said exclusivity agreements or covenants are likely to have an adverse effect on competition and may be detrimental to the smooth operation of payment systems in the Country.
3. Exclusivity agreements will consequently hamper the Reserve Bank’s efforts of promoting financial inclusion and the expansion of financial services in the economy.
4. Against the foregoing background, and to deal with anti-competitive agreements, payment system providers are directed as follows:-
4.1 An agent may offer services to multiple payment system providers provided that the agent has separate contracts for the provision of such services with each institution and the agent has the capacity to manage the transactions for the different payment system providers.
4.2 Where an agent provides services for more than one payment system provider, such an agent may enter into a confidentiality agreement with each of the payment system providers for whom the agent will act.
4.3 Any payment system provider seeking to contract an agent which has already been contracted by another payment system provider to carry out agency services shall assess the capacity of the agent to manage transactions for different payment system providers.
5. Where a payment system provider requires entering into exclusive arrangements with an agent, the payment system provider shall apply to the Reserve Bank justifying why such an agreement is necessary.
6. The Reserve Bank shall consider such application and may approve or dismiss the application or may give an appropriate direction thereto.

 

26 Comments

  1. Welly Mbedzi says:

    Great Business move RBZ has done..

  2. TECHNOKRATTI says:

    salute rbz

  3. Chihelele says:

    Econet icharira chete gore rino, with Telecel half price of transaction, and with telecash allowing to send money even to econet, its gona be very intresting starting right now

  4. Timmy says:

    Officially Econet is not stopping their Agents from being Telecash Agents, So this basically solve nothing!

  5. L T M M Nyati says:

    Who have paid their licences up to date as others are just doing business illegally, one law and different interpretations maybe its all indeginising profits when capital shares tichazobadhara paa paye or never as the credit crunch continues unabated. Maybe ndookutonga resoundingly but one day chicken shall come home to roost.

  6. disqus_efVe8AntJ5 says:

    i salute you RBZ this is the way to do business , even this issue of mobile operator erecting boasters side by side ,they should just share than to compete this should be the POTRAZ call but they do see it that way , i wish if RBZ was POTRAZ

    1. Antony Masocha says:

      POTRAZ is not only a toothless bulldong but one with a chained mouth

      1. spencer says:

        For your information POTRAZ does not regulate mobile money payments. Just the network on which the payments ride on

        1. Antony Masocha says:

          l know l am talking about those which they regulate for me they are doing nothing really

  7. nhava says:

    Econet is yet to respond to that, and Econet always comes out with a gem, RBZ may loose out in the final mania.

    1. Elder says:

      thats very true nhava, Econet can just choose to ignore the directive given by the RBZ and you cant do anything to them, we have seen on several occasions Econet bullying the so called regulator of telecomms, infact Econet can just advise their agents to give up back their lines if they sign for Telecash and i dont see any agent willing to forgo their eco-cash lines for tele-cash, we wil hev to wait and see

  8. Aug says:

    This is not fair to Econet, lots of money and resources were used to create a good network of those Agents, now Tele juss comes . . . ., Its fair if they had invested into thier own Agents,

    1. Commongood says:

      Its not fair to agents who want to offer their clients multiple services. If econet wants exclusive agents they should use their franchise shops for this or pay extra to get this exclusivity. @aug, Econet did not spend a dime in signing on new agents. Agents look after their own premises and pay their own staff from the commissions they earn.

      Its sad how Econet has forgotten who made them what they are today, its the now struggling vendor on the corner street who can barely make a living now because of their innovation. I am not saying innovation is bad, i am saying they should also allow others to be build their own businesses on theirs so long as it makes them money.

      I hope Econet finds its way again. They should focus on advancing the common good not petty fights. Banks are offering telecash, ecocash, onewallet side by side. Why cant small agents be allowed to do the same. Let the consumer choose. Ah zvinoshatirisa!

      1. @VanPockets says:

        @commongood i like your line of thinking, do you work for RBZ? lol…any way i support your assessment i believe Econet should not hold the vendors at ransom becoz their are also providing services for telecash, this is typical democracy at its best by RBZ, wat the former need to do is to come up with competitive services and better deals for dealers rather than shoving or elbowing competitors #downwithmonopolisingvendors

    2. Doc says:

      Wat investment really did econet put up to have agents??

  9. econet boss says:

    corrective measures well done Rbz , tele cash go ahead thats business nothing to worry about . agents benifits from hw they work . net one tevera iapapo . guys hw many banks do we have in zimbabwe just think about it . telecash your on products you are the one who started this but it wasnt gud skwama no .

  10. Doc says:

    Well done RBZ.

  11. happymobileguy says:

    im so happy that econet is getting a taste of the medicine it always dishes out to others

  12. Elder says:

    wait anxiously to see if Econet is going to bully the RBZ like they are used to doing on POTRAZ

  13. Sikidzi says:

    Open your eyes and see that for every EcoCash agent there are scores of outlets with no EcoCash. Rather than approach those to sign them on and increase economic activity, Ttelecash wants to jump on the back of EcoCash. If an agent is rude the poor customers in that area have no choice and are at his mercy. This so called anti competitive agent monopoly by Econet actually encourages open competition. Imagine if all banks used the same outlets, all supermarkets call themselves Ok, Tm, spar etc under ine roof or airlines use the same agent. When Macdonalds gives you agency how can you do wimpy under the same counter.? So Telecash can just take over an agent with no Econet having no say, as long as telecash has an NDA..and we call that fair and open competiion, competition by taking over and not by creating new opportunities, new outlets, new jobs? Defeats sound reasoning it would seem.

    1. Tsikidzi says:

      Many want to be agents, and existing agents can open new outlets for Telecash. Having the sam3 staffer to handle both is a NoNo and many mean either network does not trust the agencg network enough to train them especially on new upcoming products, promos etc as these are then known immediately by competition. Why do banks not share countees to increaee competition if TN bank has to share its agenct network with Telecash?

    2. @VanPockets says:

      @sikidzi imagine econet saying on any social media platform (facebook, tweeter, tumbler etc..) “…they are our followers Telecel find yours.” or imagine econet saying, “We advertised first on Teczim page or in YEDULANI (YOUR ZIMBABWE) Magazine, so Telecel bug off.” or “find your own subscribers, we cant share the double sim Gtel phone….” kwaaaa lets be optimistic on RBZ fairness on competition, haikona kungoti pangu pangu iwe.

  14. Nembudziya says:

    This is not an RBZ directive but a Zanu one

  15. Hudzvanyiriri says:

    Not fair. This is to favour Telecel but hazvibatsiri, Econet will always be ahead. Talk of people with Telecel lines to those with Econet. Its political of course but hazvibatsire. If you are to do business do it with fairness, full stop. Let people choose what they want

  16. MaSibanda says:

    Econet has to grow up and be innovative instead of trying to be a monopoly. Econet yagara ichingosvina vanhu, its products and services are way too expensive.

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