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Paynet: Banks Owe Us $2.5 Million & Haven’t Paid In 18 Months

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Paynet took to their Facebook to address some of the issues regarding their feud with local banks and responded to people who accused them of acting in bad faith and holding the nation at ransom.

It’s an interesting thread and one that sheds some light on how the local banking sector operates. You can check out the statement and subsequent questions and answers in Paynet’s Facebook thread below:

Paynet’s initial statement:

The fact is that the system doesn’t belong to Paynet and Paynet did not suspend the banks. Payserv Africa which belongs to Cambria owns the system and has not been paid for 18 months. Cambria is owed $2.5 million. Banks have run up a tab for another $470,000 since the beginning of May knowing they would be charged in USD yet deliberately continuing to use the system while conspiring to replace us – by using other external vendors.

The banks claim they contracted with Paynet in “local currency “. NOT TRUE. There was no “local currency” when they agreed to pay an average 16 US cents for each transaction. 

Even if they pay Payserv for each transaction at 6:1 they are still making a profit but they claimed they have to charge their clients in USD. NOT TRUE. They don’t charge for ZimSwitch in USD but they pay for the Postilion switch in USD. Even the RTGS switch is paid for in USD. 

The banks were aware since April that they had to pay Payserv Africa supplier which has not been paid for 18 months. The RBZ agreed on the basis of invoicing back 65%. The banks knowing they had a deadline to pay, chose to use the time to find an alternative and claimed they did to their management.

The banks chose to disconnect from Paynet and informed their clients since 31 May. Paynet took out half page ads and informed the clients as best they could.

Paynet via Facebook

Comment: I am happy to learn that there is now a local solution available. No more extortionate rates (US$2/transaction) and no more forex leaving the country!

Paynet response (PN): Forex leaves the country for almost any type of transaction. We charged on average US 16 CENTS. So perhaps you should look at your bank when discussing extortion and don’t think for a moment they will charge you less for a “local solution”

Comment: Paynet, i sense a lot of unprofessionalism and emotions in yo comments. I am certain u have a lot of pride and an ego, which is the reason why you couldnt negotiate a better deal with the banks and keep your service up. You shld learn to sit down with your clients and understand their operations and environment and challenges before u start thumbsucking USD charges.You complain that other service providers are being paid USD, yes its because they have better sales and support structures who negotiate contracts for win-win. Manje imimi your monopoly got into your head and u thought u had the country at your fingertips…and it turned out things have changed. Sorry to burst your bubble. Also remember that Banks dont pay systems like Oracle or Microsoft per transaction, NO. They pay a single annual licence and that way business can budget properly. If u charge per transaction, they Banks hav to pass it on to the customer because the cost is no longer fixed, but customer determined. So think properly next time before u try to fleece the nation.

PN: Declare your interest. You work for NMB as a system analyst. And remember NMB charges for Paynet per transaction which is why it pays 18 cents for what it uses and certainly when it agreed to that price a dollar was a dollar and NMB charged its clients six times as much but didn’t support the product . We didn’t fleece the nation my friend. We didn’t make $22 million dollars profit that the banks did on the back of our service. Your interest was not that of the nation. Your interest was to act in unison with the other banks the nation be damned. So to have the temerity of producing this diatribe knowing that both Zimswitch and RTGS are paid for by transaction in forex and so are many core banking systems is beyond the pale for a systems analyst at NMB and shows the collective anger that you didn’t manage to produce an alternative in the 40 days you claimed to be using to negotiate with us and find a solution. I wish I could “pass on a cost” at six times what I pay for something.

Has anyone wondered why all banks charge nearly the same price for nearly the same service and never compete?

Comment: How does Paynet charge USD for rtgs transactions. Now they are out of business because of greed

PN: … Because we need to pay the owner of the technology. Since when is it considered greed to be paid what you contracted for? The banks contracted in USD. There was no local currency and they are all aware we have license fees to pay.

The technology is licensed. Over 1.3 million is owed to them already and the exchange losses are mounting for Paynet Zimbabwe waiting for allocation. The RBZ agreed to the banks paying and 65% coming back to Zimbabwe. That way the technology owner a Mauritius company was going to claw back what it owes. The banks simply wanted to shift the burdens of the currency problem to Paynet or their customers while in 2018 they earned real USD of $22 million. 

We didn’t suspend the service. The Payserv Mauritius suspended the service by terminating our license.

Comment: I wonder cant we as Zimbabweans invent our own system ? How many computer & IT experts do we graduate every other yr with Bsc, Msc& Phds ? Does it mean our education is not tailored to solve problems but creat arm chair scientists ? Whats so peculiar abt this paynet thing ? Plz educate me otherwise we are cursed as a nation.

PN: The same reason we buy cars from Japan. Until now Payserv charged a 5 cent license fee from the 16 cents it charged to the banks. But these fees were not being paid and the banks refused to recognize they contracted in USD claiming theycontracted in “local currency”. The country didn’t have a local currency. In order not to raised our contracted price and avoid termination in March we agreed with RBZ to allow Payserv Mauritius to take over the invoicing and bring back 65% to Zimbabwe. The banks refused as a group and forced those agreeing to pay not to pay. They ran up a tab of $475,000 knowing they won’t pay.

Comment: Whoever owns the system, i think a local system is the way to go especially for local transactions

PN: Actually there are no local systems
RTGS uses Perago (Belgium)
ZimSwitch uses Postilion and EFT (USA / Mauritius)
Zippit uses Postilion 
The replacement that the “local” banks from the United Kingdom wish to use are going to be produced in India. 
Core systems – all external 
Bankers Realm

Oracle – external 

They ALL get paid. 
Directly by the banks 
In fact ZSS is bank owned. 

Why should Payserv be singled out?? Do banks sit around the table and question why Microsoft wants to be paid the same dollars today as in 2018?

Comment: We should have developed our own system by now, I can’t imagine a simple payment system has to be outsourced, feeding predatory tendencies…Nonsense

PN: The reason “we” didn’t is Paynet is the most cost effective solution in any currency. Every other service being used is paid for in foreign currency as well. Except that the banks own most of those services. Even the RTGS switch is paid for to Perago in Belgium.

Comment: Our country should pay them what they are due … but no USD to pay them!

PN: The country pays USD Perago, Oracle, Postilion, EFT, Microsoft, Standard Chartered UK, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Old Mutual – why not Payserv which owns and licenses Paynet’s technology? Payserv was just putting the onus on the banks to get the forex because they could so that it could be paid back millions it hasn’t received. Further, Paynet agreed to invoice back 65% with the RBZ and that would have earned the country Foreign Currency – but the banks wanted to protect themselves at the expense of their depositors.

Comment: Too long a statement to read (referring to initial post)

PN: To be exact we are owed U$2.5 million as Cambria and ever since the banks were informed in APRIL they would be charged directly, they happily ran up a bill of $475,000 by sending 4 million plus transactions through the system knowing they had no intention to pay

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20 thoughts on “Paynet: Banks Owe Us $2.5 Million & Haven’t Paid In 18 Months

  1. who is really wrong here, i dont understand. why are banks not paying Payserve yacho when they are paying for other services

  2. There is an opportunity for technocrats and ICT experts to develop their own systems voita mari but gees vanoda kunotsvaga mabasa.

    1. It’s not as simple as that. Note, I’m not saying it’s impossible. A lot of effort has gone into developing a switch like Postillion. It will take a lot of effort and money to replace it. There is nothing wrong with looking for a job. I gained valuable experience working for top international payments companies and local telecomms companies. I’m starting my own payments company from an informed perspective. I know and understand the complexities in this industry. People argue that we produce a lot of graduates every year but they can’t develop a replacement of these systems we pay so much for. The problem is not our graduates, the problem is our iindustry which does not produce meaningful jobs to give our graduates the much needed experience to gain knowlegde and insight into global standards. Give a determined graduate an opportunity and you will see wonders. India has so many tech companies because their graduates get internships at top companies like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft e.t.c then leave to start their own companies. The same thing happens in the U.S, the Pay Pal Mafia is a good example.

  3. Why didn’t the banks move onto the new system in an open transparent way? Pay for what they have used and close that chapter. Finding a new solution is no excuse for messing up the old supplier.

    1. Coz they have always been fleecing even us their customers. Bank charges in Zimbabwe are crazy…. Just deposit $100 and leave it there for 30 days. When you come back it will be less than that.

  4. To be honest I always knew these banks were hopeless…the fact that there were no willing to pay and furthermore not even have a system in place shows their true intention… Note they going to make even more just from RTGS fees…I was paying $1 now$10 for the same service…makes no sense where is the regulator in allt

  5. Regardless who is right, or wrong, I don’t think companies should take their fights to Facebook.

    That said, there will never be a home grown payments solution because of greed. Payments companies find it easier to just repackage technology from elsewhere and just add their markup to the licence fees. Folks are impatient to make a profit.

    As well, there’s to much risk that you’ll take a few years to develop a solution and hit a brick wall when you want to get it operational. Even Zipit faced issues, despite it being backed by Zss, because someone was afraid of losing RTGS business.

  6. Banks have always been one of Zimbabwe’s core economics problems. What they are doing to pay net or Csmbri is what they are doing to clients a D what they are doing to government. And they sit right at the centre of all transactions….

  7. A local developed system is prone to hackers thats why they stick to these big international companies. Dont play nemari dzema banks Zimbabwe yese controlled by a small company

    1. Not exactly. All systems are prone to attacks. ZSS uses a lot of locally developed software. The real reason we don’t have a 100% local solution is because noone is willing to invest money and resources into developing replacements for switches like Postillion and big banking packages like T24.

  8. All along i thought that Paynet was a Zimbabwean company. I thought paynet was a zim company and the system was developed by a zimbabwean Ron Web and it is maintained in Zim by local developers???

  9. Why not just leverage South Africa’s system? It’s already run as a mutual business, already switches locally and internationally, and has one of the best payments grade networks in Africa. We can’t let African countries be isolated and preyed on. We should band together.

      1. Not 100% sure that’s the case. ZAR is forex, but it can’t be that bad compared to USD, etc, can it?

        1. South Africa doesn’t have a local system . tk my knowledge they use EFT which is Mauritian I think. They also pay for it in greenback

  10. we are now suffering ,our pay are not being payed in time because of lack of management this country

    is just fxxxxd up

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